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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    And I've already explained why they're not, it'd be entirely legally justified to give out a murder verdict (the second somewhat more tenuously).

    Life imprisonment (even when released on licence) is eye for an eye as it's nevertheless destroying the life of the offender.
    And I have already kindly pointed out that Scenario 2 is very unlikely going to be murder. As previously stated, the mens rea of murder is malice aforethought express or implied. Scenario 2 would more likely face a charge of Unlawful Act Manslaughter.

    And ruining the life of the offender? Are we really going there? What about the lives of the victim's family? The victim him or herself? This man or woman took their life. Awhile back, my class were asked to write an essay on a simple question "why do we convict criminals?" and the answer comes down to three simple words. Punishment, retribution, deterrant.

    All criminals must be punished in some way, there is no avoiding that and if you wish to let criminals off for breaking the law, then you do concern me. Retribution is meant for the family of the victim, especially in a murder case, they've lost a loved one, and they must see that justice has been delivered. And we convict criminals to act as a detterant to other potential offfenders. Whether it be by a direct detterant to the offender him or herself or indirect detterants to the general populace.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    The two examples would both potentially be murder. Such is the issue of a jury trial. The first is relatively uncontroversial; if you can't see how there can be an intention to cause serious bodily harm in that instance, you're simply wrong. The second is a stretch, I'll admit, but if you add one of just a few factors to it (e.g. a previous swing at the head, the defendant holding any weapon at the time, the fight being extended), you can easily find that intention. Furthermore, although Nigel correctly refers to R v Martin, there's a strong case to be made that the Court of Appeal overstretched their jurisdiction as regards that one. To those saying 'just get a good defence barrister'; while a good defence barrister may increase one's chances of walking away with a mere manslaughter conviction in these instances, it wouldn't remove the possibility of a murder verdict. Furthermore, not everyone can afford a good defence barrister; we shouldn't be putting a price on justice and liberty.

    Furthermore, none of you are arguing, at this point, that the sentence would actually be fair in the first case alone. This does not remove the option to give a life sentence for murder, and indeed, I suggest that would still be the result in the vast majority of cases. It just amends the few cases where a life sentence is a gross injustice.
    Murder definition- The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another

    Manslaughter defintion- The crime of killing a human being without malice aforethought, or in circumstances not amounting to murder

    Source: Oxford dictionary

    Both examples given were a case of manslaugther, neither of them had the intent to kill and killing someone by accident or when defending yourself is not murder. In the secound reading you should give better examples and make it more clearer the definition of murder and manslaughter.




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    (Original post by kallum.finch)
    And I have already kindly pointed out that Scenario 2 is very unlikely going to be murder. As previously stated, the mens rea of murder is malice aforethought express or implied. Scenario 2 would more likely face a charge of Unlawful Act Manslaughter.
    'Very unlikely' is a massive, massive overstatement. All it takes is a single aggravating factor (or indeed, vigilante jury) for that scenario to fall plumply within the MR of murder.

    And ruining the life of the offender? Are we really going there? What about the lives of the victim's family? The victim him or herself? This man or woman took their life. Awhile back, my class were asked to write an essay on a simple question "why do we convict criminals?" and the answer comes down to three simple words. Punishment, retribution, deterrant.
    Punishment and retribution are not in themselves valid reasons for criminal punishment because all they achieve is the suffering of the guilty. Causing people to suffer is prima facie bad even if they've done something wrong. I'd recommend reading this:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Punishment-.../dp/0199534780 (you should be able to find a pdf fairly easily).

    If you can show me how the victim's family's lives are improved by a mandatory life sentence, I'll consider your point.

    All criminals must be punished in some way, there is no avoiding that and if you wish to let criminals off for breaking the law, then you do concern me. Retribution is meant for the family of the victim, especially in a murder case, they've lost a loved one, and they must see that justice has been delivered. And we convict criminals to act as a detterant to other potential offfenders. Whether it be by a direct detterant to the offender him or herself or indirect detterants to the general populace.
    Note that this doesn't remove the discretion to award a life sentence, and indeed, I foresee that this will still be the case in most murder cases. The difference between a life sentence and a 20 year sentence won't operate as an additional deterrent. I disagree that 'all criminals must be punished in some way' - I'd say 'criminals should be punished if and insofar as the punishment serves a purpose'. I'm not saying that criminals should be let off - hence not advocating an absolute discharge - but it is fairly clear that our current criminal justice system is too harsh due to inflexibility in at leat some cases.

    Regarding the family of the victim, I'd argue that their views should be largely ignored, as they will be clouded with anger and therefore likely irrational. Rather, we should take their interests into account, the same as any other member of society, in designing a criminal justice strategy.
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    (Original post by mr T 999)
    Murder definition- The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another

    Manslaughter defintion- The crime of killing a human being without malice aforethought, or in circumstances not amounting to murder

    Source: Oxford dictionary

    Both examples given were a case of manslaugther, neither of them had the intent to kill and killing someone by accident or when defending yourself is not murder. In the secound reading you should give better examples and make it more clearer the definition of murder and manslaughter.



    I mean, you understand that the definition provided by the OED isn't actually the law right?

    To clear things up for you, under English law, a person is held to have committed murder (I'm simplifying this a bit by removing reference to some exceptions which are irrelevant for our purposes) when they cause the death of another person (the actus reus of the offence) with the intention to either kill, or to cause serious bodily harm to that person (the mens rea). The requisite mens rea of intending to cause serious bodily harm can potentially be found in both of these cases (especially if, for instance, you add the aggravating factor to the second case that Dave is wearing knuckledusters). I'm going to add more actual examples in the second reading if the rest of the party approve.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    'Very unlikely' is a massive, massive overstatement. All it takes is a single aggravating factor (or indeed, vigilante jury) for that scenario to fall plumply within the MR of murder.



    Punishment and retribution are not in themselves valid reasons for criminal punishment because all they achieve is the suffering of the guilty. Causing people to suffer is prima facie bad even if they've done something wrong. I'd recommend reading this:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Punishment-.../dp/0199534780 (you should be able to find a pdf fairly easily).

    If you can show me how the victim's family's lives are improved by a mandatory life sentence, I'll consider your point.



    Note that this doesn't remove the discretion to award a life sentence, and indeed, I foresee that this will still be the case in most murder cases. The difference between a life sentence and a 20 year sentence won't operate as an additional deterrent. I disagree that 'all criminals must be punished in some way' - I'd say 'criminals should be punished if and insofar as the punishment serves a purpose'. I'm not saying that criminals should be let off - hence not advocating an absolute discharge - but it is fairly clear that our current criminal justice system is too harsh due to inflexibility in at leat some cases.

    Regarding the family of the victim, I'd argue that their views should be largely ignored, as they will be clouded with anger and therefore likely irrational. Rather, we should take their interests into account, the same as any other member of society, in designing a criminal justice strategy.
    No, but my main argument is that we shouldn't just be reforming the sentencing. In the 2006 Paper by the Law Commission, "Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide", they suggest that we adopt the two tier system of murder, first and second degree murder. I recognise that there must be a distinction between those intended to kill and those who intended to cause GBH. But, I feel changing the sentencing is not the way to go about it. We should reform murder as a whole. Murder of the First Degree would cover situations where the defendant intended to kill. And Murder of the Second Degree would cover situations wherein the defendant only intended to cause GBH.

    We should reform Murder, not its sentencing, which I hope the right honourable gentleman would agree with me upon. Too many things are left to chance with allow murderers with the chance to get away from a life sentence, in my opinion.
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    (Original post by kallum.finch)
    No, but my main argument is that we shouldn't just be reforming the sentencing. In the 2006 Paper by the Law Commission, "Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide", they suggest that we adopt the two tier system of murder, first and second degree murder. I recognise that there must be a distinction between those intended to kill and those who intended to cause GBH. But, I feel changing the sentencing is not the way to go about it. We should reform murder as a whole. Murder of the First Degree would cover situations where the defendant intended to kill. And Murder of the Second Degree would cover situations wherein the defendant only intended to cause GBH.

    We should reform Murder, not its sentencing, which I hope the right honourable gentleman would agree with me upon. Too many things are left to chance with allow murderers with the chance to get away from a life sentence, in my opinion.
    I think we ought to begin by reforming sentencing, and this Bill produces a position better than the status quo, so should be supported.

    I'd agree that multi-tier murder would be a good way forward though, the current sentencing regime is only really appropriate for so-called 'first degree'.
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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    The SofS for Justice tried arguing there were degrees of murder in the UK two weeks ago, and has not done a lot to prove his capability when it comes to writing what will be a complex bill to make the biggest change to Britain's legal system in decades.
    You mean when neither of us knew there weren't degrees of murder in the UK, and you didn't even know what the difference between degrees of murder were?
    Yeah.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    I think we ought to begin by reforming sentencing, and this Bill produces a position better than the status quo, so should be supported.
    That is where we disagree then, I do not believe we should start with the sentencing. I believe we should reform it as a whole rather in little bits here and there. Because who knows how long it'll take for the next bill to get through? And the one after that? And the one after that?
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    I mean, you understand that the definition provided by the OED isn't actually the law right?

    To clear things up for you, under English law, a person is held to have committed murder (I'm simplifying this a bit by removing reference to some exceptions which are irrelevant for our purposes) when they cause the death of another person (the actus reus of the offence) with the intention to either kill, or to cause serious bodily harm to that person (the mens rea). The requisite mens rea of intending to cause serious bodily harm can potentially be found in both of these cases (especially if, for instance, you add the aggravating factor to the second case that Dave is wearing knuckledusters). I'm going to add more actual examples in the second reading if the rest of the party approve.
    Yes I'm aware of that but it provides a definition for the two terms.
    I don't agree with what your saying; killing someone by accident is not murder that person my have intentions to hurt the person, but not to kill (so its more assault/battery if anything else).

    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/h_to_k/h...laughter/#pact
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    (Original post by kallum.finch)
    That is where we disagree then, I do not believe we should start with the sentencing. I believe we should reform it as a whole rather in little bits here and there. Because who knows how long it'll take for the next bill to get through? And the one after that? And the one after that?
    Okay, let's put it this way. The current Bill is not a Bill which introduces overall murder reform. That's not on the table. You should vote in favour of this if you think it's an improvement on the status quo, abstain if you think it's about the same, and vote against if you think it's worse.

    (Original post by mr T 999)
    Yes I'm aware of that but it provides a definition for the two terms.
    I don't agree with what your saying; killing someone by accident is not murder that person my have intentions to hurt the person, but not to kill (so its more assault/battery if anything else).

    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/h_to_k/h...laughter/#pact
    You. Don't. Need. An. Intention. To. Kill. It literally says that in the link you've provided!


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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Okay, let's put it this way. The current Bill is not a Bill which introduces overall murder reform. That's not on the table. You should vote in favour of this if you think it's an improvement on the status quo, abstain if you think it's about the same, and vote against if you think it's worse.



    You. Don't. Need. An. Intention. To. Kill. It literally says that in the link you've provided!


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    Fine you may not need the intent to kill but the two examples you provided may not have any GBH intent. So it's still not murder tbf. But I get where your coming from now.

    If you have provided better examples and definition, then no one here would have misinterpreted what you actually trying to say tbh

    I still don't agree with this bill tho
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Okay, let's put it this way. The current Bill is not a Bill which introduces overall murder reform. That's not on the table. You should vote in favour of this if you think it's an improvement on the status quo, abstain if you think it's about the same, and vote against if you think it's worse.



    You. Don't. Need. An. Intention. To. Kill. It literally says that in the link you've provided!


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    It would've just been easier to explain Lord Coke's definition, probably.
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    (Original post by kallum.finch)
    It would've just been easier to explain Lord Coke's definition, probably.
    yeah but I like taking the mickey
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    (Original post by DMcGovern)
    You mean when neither of us knew there weren't degrees of murder in the UK, and you didn't even know what the difference between degrees of murder were?
    Yeah.
    As it was me who point out degrees of murder do not exist, your point about the matter falls. The Secretary of State for Justice should know what exists in the legal system. You were making a point based on a fictional degree of murder which did not match any legal system; or it could have been your brother, I forgot.
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    (Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
    As it was me who point out degrees of murder do not exist, your point about the matter falls. The Secretary of State for Justice should know what exists in the legal system. You were making a point based on a fictional degree of murder which did not match any legal system; or it could have been your brother, I forgot.
    No, my point does not 'fall'. Just because you later informed me that there were no degrees of murder applicable in the UK after happening upon the fact while trying to prove your own flawed and incorrect point, and hence changing the subject in a subtle attempt at juvenile point-scoring, does not dismiss the fact that you were equally wrong, if not more wrong.

    I was making a point based on a fully factual degree of murder in the USA; although I did mention degrees, my point was that Blackman's murder was that it was to some degree premeditated and it was clear malice aforethought. Moreover, the recording clearly showed this malice aforethought in what Blackman said and how he said it. Not only this, but it was clearly a murder according to the doctrine of "Under the Queen's peace".
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    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    B1097 – Murder (Sentencing) Bill 2017, TSR Government


    Murder (Sentencing) Bill 2017
    A Bill to remove mandatory life sentences for the crime of murder


    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

    1. Removal of mandatory life sentence for murder
    1. The finding of a defendant to be guilty of murder shall no longer result in a mandatory life sentence.
    2. The Sentencing Council shall produce revised sentencing guidelines which account for this change.



    2. Commencement, Short Title and Extent
    1. This Act may be referred to as the Murder Act 2017
    2. This Act will extend to the United Kingdom; and;
    3. This Act shall come into force on 1st May 2017; except for s1(2), which shall come into force immediately.



    Notes
    This means that persons found guilty of murder are no longer automatically sentenced to life - but does not remove the possibility of judges doing so where it is found to be appropriate. This greater flexibility will allow for more appropriate sentencing to the goals thereof - there is scant evidence that greater sentences produce a greater deterrent effect: http://eml.berkeley.edu/~jmccrary/ch...ccrary2014.pdf.

    It is tough to point to cases reported in the news where a life sentence was too harsh, simply because the general public is not nearly as interested in cases without the 'shock factor'. However, here are a couple of hypothetical scenarios where a life sentence would undoubtedly be too harsh, which would nevertheless amount to murder:

    1) It is 4am, and a man, upstairs with the rest of his sleeping family, hears an intruder downstairs. He picks up a heavy object from his bedside table and creeps downstairs. He turns a corner and suddenly sees the intruder, who he strikes over the head with the object. This causes severe bleeding and instantly knocks out the intruder. The man calls an ambulance, but the intruder dies in hospital. This would amount to murder.

    2) It is a Sunday afternoon, and two men are arguing in a pub. They agree to 'take it outside'. Unbeknownst to man 1 (let's call him Phil), man 2 (Dave) has a condition which makes him uniquely prone to haemorrhaging. Phil lands a heavy punch on Dave's stomach. Dave collapses but gets back up again. They are both kicked out and both go their separate ways. Dave dies that evening. This, too, is murder (with certain caveats about the intent which was found).
    To resolve murder or terrorism only the death penalty is adequate punishment
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    Nay.

    While the current law vis-a-vis unlawful killing is not perfect, I would by far prefer to change to the 3-tier murder structure suggested by the Law Commission. That would allow for flexibility in second-degree murder cases while maintaining our intransigence with regards to first-degree murder.

    Also, I don't know who wrote this bill but I would advise them to brush up on their criminal law before stating in such a definite way that the above situations are murder.
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    (Original post by DMcGovern)
    No, my point does not 'fall'. Just because you later informed me that there were no degrees of murder applicable in the UK after happening upon the fact while trying to prove your own flawed and incorrect point, and hence changing the subject in a subtle attempt at juvenile point-scoring, does not dismiss the fact that you were equally wrong, if not more wrong.

    I was making a point based on a fully factual degree of murder in the USA; although I did mention degrees, my point was that Blackman's murder was that it was to some degree premeditated and it was clear malice aforethought. Moreover, the recording clearly showed this malice aforethought in what Blackman said and how he said it. Not only this, but it was clearly a murder according to the doctrine of "Under the Queen's peace".
    But then you have to look at his mental state which the MoD knew was likely poor which could/would make it manslaughter.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    I mean, let's be serious here. Our criminal justice system shouldn't be based on retribution, but rather improving society. I don't believe there's a particularly good justification for keeping many convicted murderers either in prison or on licence (which will still ruin their lives) after a certain point; it won't work as an additional deterrent effect, and nor will it serve to protect society in the cases of many murderers (like those described in the notes). Furthermore, the extent to which current penal methods are effective for rehabilitation is already highly questionable. Thus, what do we achieve by extending punishments? An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
    PRSOM
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    (Original post by joecphillips)
    But then you have to look at his mental state which the MoD knew was likely poor which could/would make it manslaughter.
    It all depends on if he fulfills the requirements for diminished responsibility.
 
 
 
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