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PC Andrew Harper.

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Harsh, their Ophthalmologists and Nursing Degrees are highly valued,
Aren't there enough opthamologists and nurses arriving from Somalia ?
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Killing someone whilst in the middle of doing another crime was once automatically considered murder, and IMHO should be again.

I remember that as well.
When did it change ?

(Is it something else I can despise Blair for ?)
You are quite right to blame Blair though. He is to responsible for most things including not locking down soon enough as the Great Plague tore through London...


Prior to this, it would have been a capital murder.
Homicide Act 1957

1 Abolition of "constructive malice"
  1. Where a person kills another in the course or furtherance of some other offence, the killing shall not amount to murder unless done with the same malice aforethought (express or implied) as is required for a killing to amount to murder when not done in the course or furtherance of another offence.
  2. For the purposes of the foregoing subsection, a killing done in the course or for the purpose of. resisting an officer of justice, or of resisting or avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest, or of effecting or assisting an escape or rescue from legal custody, shall be treated as a killing in the course of furtherance of an offence.
 

Mattb

LE
I don’t think you are seeing the life sentence for what it is...

Long’s very early admission of guilt for example was the biggest single mitigation - that would apply to the judge’s minimum term to be served of a life sentence whether convicted of murder or manslaughter.

So no, the mitigation discount does not change the fact that a life sentence has been passed, it does not change a life sentence to a determinate sentence* and it does not change the fact that a life sentence is for life insofar as the released ’lifer' remains on licence for the rest of his/her life.


*an ordinary determinate sentence carries with it an automatic release at the halfway point where a life sentence carries no entitlement to release ever but the ’lifer’ becomes eligible to be considered for release on licence at the minimum term point.

There are a couple of variations of the determinate sentence that still fall short of life but impose a guaranteed minimum term rather than half (the judge in the PC Harper case used one in fact - an 'extended determinate sentence’.
Not quite following - are you saying that they did get life sentences, or that they wouldn't have got life even if it was murder?
 
Not quite following - are you saying that they did get life sentences, or that they wouldn't have got life even if it was murder?
No, I am not saying they got life sentences - they didn’t. They each got a determinate sentence. In Long’s case, an extended determinate sentence

If you read the Judge’s sentencing remarks you will see why they didn’t get life. Sentencing remarks of The Honourable Mr Justice Edis


Yes - they would have got mandatory life sentences for murder.
  • Life imprisonment or Whole Life Order for adults over 21 at the time of the offence.
  • Custody for Life for 18-20 year olds at the time of the offence
  • Detention at Her Majesty’s Pleasure if under 18 at the time of the offence.
 

Mattb

LE
No, I am not saying they got life sentences - they didn’t. They each got a determinate sentence. In Long’s case, an extended determinate sentence

If you read the Judge’s sentencing remarks you will see why they didn’t get life. Sentencing remarks of The Honourable Mr Justice Edis


Yes - they would have got mandatory life sentences for murder.
  • Life imprisonment or Whole Life Order for adults over 21 at the time of the offence.
  • Custody for Life for 18-20 year olds at the time of the offence
  • Detention at Her Majesty’s Pleasure if under 18 at the time of the offence.
Well there you are then, that was my point. They got off more lightly, as it wasn't murder - I don't feel that they should have.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Well there you are then, that was my point. They got off more lightly, as it wasn't murder - I don't feel that they should have.
In the light of the evidence presented to the court, (and any other reasons that may have occurred to them,) the jury found that the defendants were not guilty of murder as defined by law.
 

Mattb

LE
In the light of the evidence presented to the court, (and any other reasons that may have occurred to them,) the jury found that the defendants were not guilty of murder as defined by law.
Agreed, but I don't think you've been following my point. I'm saying that the sentence should have been harsher - similar to a murder sentence - not that they should have been found guilty of murder.
 
Agreed, but I don't think you've been following my point. I'm saying that the sentence should have been harsher - similar to a murder sentence - not that they should have been found guilty of murder.
The sentence was as harsh as possible in line with the sentencing guidance for the offence...
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Agreed, but I don't think you've been following my point. I'm saying that the sentence should have been harsher - similar to a murder sentence - not that they should have been found guilty of murder.
The judge did what he could, but he is constrained by the rule of law.

He is effectively forced to use the Nuremberg defence.
 

Mattb

LE
The judge did what he could, but he is constrained by the rule of law.

He is effectively forced to use the Nuremberg defence.
Indeed - I'm not blaming the judge, but I think that the sentencing guidelines need looking at.
 

Sadurina

Old-Salt
I'm unclear about these 'guidelines' - are they rules that can't be broken, or are they just recomendations which can be adjusted according to the circumstances?
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
He is effectively forced to use the Nuremberg defence.
Sorry to quote myself, but that does form an interesting conundrum if it could be shown that the majority of the populace were in favour of more severe sentences.

If laws are a set of rules agreed by members of society so that they may live together, then those laws imposed on them by politicians and with which the majority do not agree are by definition wrong, and as such blindly following them because, "befehl ist befehl" is therefore illegal.
Just a thought.
 

Arte_et_Marte

ADC
Moderator
Public Order Act 1936 :

Fair enough. I wonder if that legislation was what Ex Colonial was talking about.

I guess this is where the policing by consent idea comes in.

The 1936 POA was a response to Mosley's crew.

And a more wishy washy offence is hard to find. it's about the wearing of uniform in support of a political organisation and the Chief Officer of Police (presumably the Chief Constable) together with the Secretary of State, can provide a defence. by allowing it, if it wont provoke public disorder.
 
I'm unclear about these 'guidelines' - are they rules that can't be broken, or are they just recomendations which can be adjusted according to the circumstances?
The 'guidline' sentencing is variable from a set stating point up to a maximum and down to a minimum. The whole idea is to ensure a consistency of sentencing for any given offence regardless of in which court and before whom the case is tried.
 

Mattb

LE
I'm unclear about these 'guidelines' - are they rules that can't be broken, or are they just recomendations which can be adjusted according to the circumstances?
The point is that they do adjust according to the circumstances, with what is as far as possible an exhaustive list.

You may remember from the Alexander Blackman case though that judges must still use discretion, as for example carrying a weapon would lead to a much stiffer sentence under the guidelines.
 

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