Monday, February 11, 2008

"Jailed for Life"

News today has it that three teenagers have been sentenced for the murder of Gary Newlove.  I was interested to see that the sentences are "for life".  What exactly does that mean?  Well, it all depends, but generally the law in the UK states that life is a minimum of 15 years after which parole may be considered.  But it's not that simple.  The judge can stipulate longer or shorter minimum times, as was the case here.  And the judge can also place an "indefinite" time span.

The truth is, I suppose, that few felons who go into jail as teenagers will stay in jail all their lives.  Even one of the Kray twins was released 6 weeks prior to his death on compassionate grounds, though he wasn't exactly a teenager went sent down.

Wikipedia gives a whole gamut of definitions - the UK section is here.

I assume that the sentences will be appealed.