18 1 min 9 yrs

Mark Bridger has been found guilty of the sexually-motivated abduction and murder of five year old April Jones. For this he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison, a whole life tariff.


He pleaded not guilty and her remains have never been found. Doubtless the judge, who described Bridger as “a pathological liar”, found these to be aggravating factors. The most aggravating factor in my view was the murder of a five year old girl. In the absence of a capital sanction, whole life tariffs should be the norm for murder and derivated from only in exceptional circumstances. Instead, we know that life does not usually mean life, which has terrible consequences for some when previously convicted murderers are released to kill again. Still, we see that the courts can impose a meaningful sentence occasionally. It should be the starting point and not exceptional.

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  1. The screws should be able to obtain the information that the poor little girls parents so desire .. tell them where and what he has done with Aprils body, or he will let be out with the other prisoners, about 5 mins should do it.

  2. Deliberately killing someone/anyone deserves either whole of life, no ifs no buts
    or the death penalty.

    Against the whole of life option is that in a funny way it might seem actually more cruel than capital punishment. The slow disintegration of the person emotionally and physically (Ian Brady springs to mind).
    The continued reminder to the family and loved ones whenever the perpetrator makes the headlines.
    The actual costs to the taxpayer.

    the Death penalty.
    Final but carries the possibility of mistakes. Some find it as morally repugnant as murder.
    The deterrent factor is imv secondary to the appropriateness of the punishment.

  3. I have one request, take down that creep’s photo if you can. May he experience all the joys of prison life for child abusers.

  4. Is there not one single politician that can get anything even remotely right .. piss poor timing on her behalf as well.

    Should police murderers receive whole-life jail sentences? Theresa May is to reveal tougher prison terms in her address to the Police Federation, including whole-life jail sentences for those who, by murdering police officers, attack ‘the fundamental basis of our society’


  5. Harri – Had Bridger channelled his ‘talents’ properly (being a pathological liar), he could have become a politician.

  6. I agree with Pete’s view here. Whole life for murder should be the norm and not the exception in all cases.

  7. For premeditated murder, especially in cases like this, yes.

    This would be about the purest evil one could think of, and these guys won’t be reformed.

    Life without parole is right.

  8. All murder is premedidated. In Britain at least a conviction for murder requires ‘malice aforethought’ – the deliberate intention to kill.

  9. In the US, with 50 different states’ legal systems ( something I really hate ), the definitions of murder can differ quite a bit.

  10. The only good argument for the capital punishment is that it could establish a kind of social equilibrium, it’s like society’s way of saying: “We value this girl’s life so much that we are prepared to impose the supreme penalty on you for taking it”.

    None of the other arguments is any use, whether as deterrent, stopping the criminal murdering again, an eye for an eye, etc.

  11. Phantom

    We don’t have ‘degrees’ of murder. If you kill someone you are either charged with murder or ‘manslaughter’ if it is believed that the intention was not to kill or the violence inflicted could not reasonably have been expected to be fatal.

  12. That definition makes complete sense to me.

    I also like the idea of one standard in a country.

    See below from an online legal dictionary

    Under most modern statutes in the United States, murder comes in four varieties: (1) intentional murder; (2) a killing that resulted from the intent to do serious bodily injury; (3) a killing that resulted from a depraved heart or extreme recklessness; and (4) murder committed by an Accomplice during the commission of, attempt of, or flight from certain felonies.

    Our system is insane in many ways, as respect the civil and criminal law.

  13. Whole life tariffs should be the norm for murder and derivated from only in exceptional circumstances

    Total and absolute agreement.

    Nos 2,3 are interesting Phantom in the sense that they potentially wouldn’t carry the malice aforethought Colm refers to which is required for a successful murder conviction.

    Is there uniformity in sentencing for all four catageories?

  14. Allan@Aberdeen, on May 30th, 2013 at 8:54 PM Said:
    Harri – Had Bridger channelled his ‘talents’ properly (being a pathological liar), he could have become a politician.


    This from Lord Owen – an Ex pathological liar


    ‘Yet there are black lies, lies that debauch the standards of public life and they must be treated with the utmost seriousness. Many believe politics is the art of lying. If lies are allowed to become the currency of political debate on the floor of the House of Commons then our democracy is gravely endangered.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2333649/Cameron-Blair-grubby-deal-censor-Iraq-inquiry-Key-evidence-held-return-ex-PMs-neutrality-election-claims-foreign-secretary.html#ixzz2Ur0HJHU8

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