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Posted: 12/19/2005 9:48:54 PM EDT
That is interesting, I thought the UK was pretty much crime free.
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BBC NEWS
US-style murder 'grades' proposed
Many killings currently prosecuted as murder could be treated as manslaughter under proposals to be outlined by the government's legal advisers.

The Law Commission is set to suggest a US-style system of distinguishing between different types of homicide.

It could signal the end to a mandatory life sentence for murder, which critics say is too inflexible.

The report is part of the first major rethink of murder laws in England and Wales for over 50 years.

Currently all those convicted of murder must receive a life sentence but judges recommend a minimum term or "tariff".

Degrees of seriousness

Suggested reforms in the report - due to be published later - are expected to include:

* Creating a US-style system with different degrees of murder charge

* Child murder and highly premeditated crimes at one end of the scale and so-called mercy killings at the other

* Suspects only charged with murder if they intended to kill

* Other offences, such as fights and assaults resulting in unintentional death, could be prosecuted as manslaughter

* Simplifying the partial defences to murder - provocation, diminished responsibility and self-defence.

These proposals would allow the prosecution to bring different charges and judges to impose sentences other than life imprisonment.

But the government insists that in the most serious cases of murder, the mandatory life sentence will remain.

Options suggested by the commission will be put out to consultation before it presents a final set of recommendations to the Home Office next Autumn.

Last year, the commission condemned the law on murder as "a mess" and said a major rethink was needed because of the "breadth and depth of discontent" with the current situation.

The review, announced last October, is the first wholesale examination of murder laws since the Royal Commission on Capital Punishment which ran from 1949 to 1953.

This led to the Homicide Act, which was passed in 1957.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk/4544238.stm

Published: 2005/12/20 03:53:18 GMT

© BBC MMV
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:57:49 PM EDT
So, right now if you manage to kill someone that breaks into your home and is beating your wife, you are charged with murder and face life in prison?
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