British prime minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled plans for tough new laws in the country which would mean those convicted of heinous murders will face life behind bars for the rest of their lives with no chance of being considered for parole or early release. “Life means life”, Rishi Sunak said, adding that judges will be required to hand down mandatory whole-life orders to criminals who commit horrific crimes.
The new law will place a legal expectation on judges to hand down whole-life orders.
“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,” Rishi Sunak said.
“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 said.
This comes just days after nurse Lucy Letby was handed a whole-life order after being found guilty of killing seven newborn babies under her care at a hospital in northern England. Currently, UK law dies not allow capital punishment owing to which the toughest sentence to be handed down is a whole-life term. Downing Street said judges will have greater confidence to hand out whole-life orders without risk of challenge in the Courts of Appeal.
“A whole-life order will now be the expectation for murderers where the killing involves sexual or sadistic conduct. This important law change will ensure that the worst of the worst can now expect to spend the rest of their lives in prison,” UK justice secretary Alex Chalk said.