A two tier murder charge system for the UK?

  TopCat® 18:20 08 Sep 2010

I have long held the belief that a first and second degree murder charge system, similar to that adopted by the US courts, would be better and fairer for England and Wales. I am therefore pleased to read that Keir Starmer our current director of public prosecutions, and the government are considering recommendations. click here

It should be quite interesting to hear your views on this, so please give your frank opinions on the pros and cons of what would undoubtably be a major change to the charges for murder. Thanks for the input. TC.

  john bunyan 20:10 08 Sep 2010

This would be useful, for example, on the case where a gang murders someone- all are charged. Some may be fringe members and may deserve a lesser sentence than the mandatory life one, and may be encouraged to turn "Queens Evidence" if they were charged with the 2nd degree. The vital thing to keep, however, especially in gang cases or where the hit is ordered or paid for by one, but carried out by other(s) is the principle of Joint Enterprise (I think it is called) to avoid the nonsense of people getting off if they blame each other.Perhaps administratively easier to allow judges to award a life sentence, but with a lower than 50% time to serve if the person was not the main culprit.

  morddwyd 20:12 08 Sep 2010

Don't think it would be for the UK.

Scotland already has culpable homicide, which some say already fills the bill.

I don't know the detail - I'm not a legal eagle, and now too old for jury service, but I think that duty of care can be ignored, and mental state may not.

  TopCat® 20:21 08 Sep 2010

three tier system, as manslaughter would be included and, in some cases if found guilty, could carry a life sentence as well. TC.

  wiz-king 21:07 08 Sep 2010

While they are changing things - should manslaughter not be renamed personslaughter?

  spuds 22:59 08 Sep 2010

Perhaps we should consider, what is a life sentence here in the UK. In America it can mean life, and often does if the crime warrants it!.

  ella33 20:34 09 Sep 2010

Hm, in the short time I have helped with ex prisoners -though I do not pretend to have an inside knowledge of the prison service- I have been assured that many prisoners do die in prison. Not that it is necessarily the sentence.

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