European Court of Human Rights rules that whole life sentences are a breach of human rights
The government is looking at the plan after a European court ruled in 2013 that such sentences breached the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Prime Minister David Cameron has said “life should mean life” as the government considers US-style 100-year prison sentences for murderers and serious offenders.
The 100-year terms would allow sentence reviews, satisfying the court which ruled that not allowing prisoners to have their sentence reviewed is a breach of Human rights.
The government was given six months to respond to the decision, which Mr Cameron has said he “profoundly disagreed” with.
The government considering a plan to allow judges to impose jail terms of hundreds of years, which would potentially allow offenders to have their sentences reviewed and reduced.
Human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC said that sentencing people to hundreds of years of imprisonment was a “cruel and unusual punishment”, and was contrary to the English Bill of Rights of 1689.
There are currently 52 people in England and Wales serving whole-life prison terms.
Lawyers at the Ministry of Justice have confirmed they are looking at whether the law needs to be changed to allow judges to hand down more severe sentences.
Under the US system, very long prison sentences are often imposed by states as an alternative to the death penalty.
If there is a new change to life sentences this will not affect already serving prisoners.
At Emery Johnson Astills we have considerable experience dealing with all kinds of prison law matters and criminal cases and can provide you with expert legal advice and representation from the Police Station all the way through the court process and sentencing.