UK announces mandatory whole-life sentences for heinous killers

Under “tough” plans announced by the prime minister late Saturday, the UK’s “most depraved” killers will face life behind bars with no chance of being released.

“I have shared the public’s horror at the cruelty of crimes we have seen recently. People rightly expect that in the most serious cases, there should be a guarantee that life will mean life. They expect honesty in sentencing,” said Rishi Sunak in a statement touting the plan, also likely referring to the recent case of a nurse, Lucy Letby, sentenced to life for murdering seven newborns.

“By bringing in mandatory whole life orders for the heinous criminals who commit the most horrific types of murder, we will make sure they never walk free,” he added.

Under the plan’s legal framework, judges will have increased assurance in issuing whole-life orders without fear of potential challenges in appeals courts, according to the government.

For the very first time, it said, whole-life orders will become the standard sentencing option for cases involving sexually motivated murders.

Additionally, it said, the government has taken steps to eliminate the automatic early release of terrorists and introduced a 14-year minimum jail term for the most dangerous terrorist offenders through the Counter Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021.

“The government is also committed to looking at changing the law to make sure that people who commit the most horrific crimes face their victims in court and hear first-hand the impact that their crimes have had on them and their families and loved ones,” an official statement said.

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