LONDON, Aug 27: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled plans for tough new laws 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.
The 43-year-old British Indian leader said in a statement on Saturday that “life means life” and judges
will be required to hand down mandatory whole-life orders to criminals who commit the most horrific
types of murder.
The new law will place a legal expectation on judges to hand down whole-life orders, except in
extremely limited circumstances.
“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 Sunak.
“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.
It comes in the 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.
The UK’s statutory provisions do not allow capital punishment and therefore the toughest sentence to
be handed down is a whole-life term. By putting things on a legal footing, Downing Street said judges
will have greater confidence to hand out whole-life orders without risk of challenge in the Courts of
Appeal. Under the legal shake-up, whole-life orders will also be the default sentence for any sexually
“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,” said UK Justice Secretary Alex Chalk.
The UK government said it will legislate for the changes announced in due course, as Parliament returns
from its summer recess next month. (PTI)