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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200323 Find in a Library
Title: In Denial of Murder: No Parole
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:42  Issue:2  Dated:May 2003  Pages:176-180
Author(s): Alec Samuels
Editor(s): Frances Crook
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article briefly reviews the United Kingdom’s Parole Board imposed guidelines and decisions in the release of those sentenced to mandatory life for murder and their denial of guilt or lack of behavioral or attitudinal changes as acceptable factors in the delay or refusal of release and the implication of these factors as solely determining a continued risk to the public.
Abstract: For a convicted murderer sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment in the United Kingdom, at the end of the minimum fixed term, the Parole Board will review the case and consider the protection of the public and order release if the appropriateness has been satisfied. Most offenders on a mandatory life sentence are released at some time. Before the expiration of their minimum term, averaging somewhat less than 14 years, the prisoner has the right to have his case reviewed by the Parole Board. The Parole Board guidelines stipulate that refusal must now be based only on continuing risk to the public. This article specifically addresses the issue of when a mandatory lifer is unable to come to terms with his/her conviction, steadfastly claiming their innocence or becomes hostile, resentful, aggressive, disruptive, or uncooperative. In the absence of any other factors pointing to a real risk of danger to the community, is it right to deny this individual release? Honesty in sentencing is discussed with the recommendation to move to a determinate sentencing system. Thereby, every murderer would be released accordingly, whether or not he/she claimed or persisted in claiming their innocence. If a prisoner due for release was considered a real danger to the public, there would then be a proper judicial procedure in retaining him/her in custody, for the danger reason.
Main Term(s): Probation or parole decisionmaking
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Indeterminate sentences; Mandatory Sentencing; Parole board; Parole effectiveness; Parole eligibility; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing/Sanctions; United Kingdom (UK)
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