Blunkett: Life Will Mean Life for Child Murderers
Byline: David Barrett
HOME Secretary David Blunkett sets out historic changes today to the way murderers will be sentenced.
It comes in the wake of a Law Lords ruling which said the Home Secretary's powers to decide how long dangerous criminals stay in jail breached human rights.
Mr Blunkett is detailing how Parliament will now instruct judges on the minimum sentences for the most heinous crimes, such as child murder.
He will say that anyone who abducts and murders a child should never be released from prison.
So-called ``whole life'' terms will also be imposed for terrorist murder or multiple murders which are premeditated, sexual or sadistic.
Prisoners currently serving minimum terms fixed by the Home Secretary would have the right to ask a judge to look at their cases again under the new rules, a Home Office spokesman said.
Mr Blunkett said, ``When capital punishment was abolished, it was intended that a strong, rigorous alternative needed to be introduced and strictly maintained.
``I am determined to ensure we have modern arrangements which maintain that commitment.
``I am not prepared to allow sentences to be passed for the most horrendous, shocking crimes which do not reflect either the punishment required or the need to give a clear signal to perpetrators that we will not tolerate their presence in our society.''
He added, ``These principles would ensure that for the most serious crimes, such as the sexual, sadistic murder of children, or terrorist murder, life should mean life, as opposed to current practice of a 20-year minimum term. …