Punishing murderers: release procedures and the "tariff", 1953-2004

Shute, Stephen (2004) Punishing murderers: release procedures and the "tariff", 1953-2004. Criminal Law Review. pp. 873-895. ISSN 0011-135X

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Abstract

Examines the changes to the release procedures for mandatory life prisoners in England and Wales over the last 50 years, revealing the tensions between the executive and the judiciary over the degree of executive control over what happens to convicted murderers. Considers: (1) the abolition of the death penalty; (2) the creation and operation of the Parole Board under the Criminal Justice Act 1967 and the executive's determination in the early 1980s to shift power back to the Home Secretary; (3) the development of the tariff and formal separation of the requirements of retribution and deterrence from the issue of risk, the reform of the release system for discretionary lifers but reinforcement of the executive's control over mandatory lifers' in the early 1990s; (4) the fundamental reforms following the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights and the executive's bid to regain control by limiting judge's sentencing powers through the introduction of statutory guidelines under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Sch.21; (5) how these new procedures, effective December 18, 2003, have worked to date. Concludes by reflecting on the reasons for the substantial increase in the number of life prisoners and the extent to which lifers' now spend much longer in prison. Echoes recommendations going back to 1975 for the replacement of the mandatory life sentence with a determinate sentence fixed by a judge.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Also published in Prison Service Journal and available from: http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/resourcecentre/prisonservicejournal/index.asp?id=5013,3124,11,3148,0,0
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Depositing User: Stephen Shute
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:03
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2012 11:12
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19194
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