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Fine Lines and Distinctions: Murder, Manslaughter and the Unlawful Taking of Human Life

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This book is a powerful commentary on the law of murder (and other unlawful killings), as well as its history, modern-day development, wholesale deficiencies, and unjust penal consequences. Written by two of the UK's leading and most forthright commentators, the book examines what Lord Judge in his Foreword describes as 'trenchant views' on correcting two particular strands of deficiency: the present definition of murder and the penalty for that offense. It will be of importance to lawyers, academics, students, and others wishing to understand better these key issues at a time of change. It is a definitive account of the most serious offense in the criminal calendar, as well as the impact of the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment for murder on some 8,000 serving prisoners. At a time when the UK's Law Commission has suggested a division of murder into two categories - with manslaughter remaining, and a review of sentencing as a whole is imminent - the book focuses on earlier lamentable failures to deal with the problems of definition and sentencing which began with the UK's Homicide Act 1957 and were not addressed at the time of the abolition of capital punishment a decade later. Taking as a main focus the extraordinarily controversial decision of the House of Lords in the case of DPP v Smith (1960), the book contains fresh insights, based on a close study of that and the earlier case of R v Hedley and Jenkins (1945). The authors demonstrate how politics, law-making, judicial decision-making, and myth somehow became intertwined in a way that would now be unacceptable in a more transparent, rights conscious, and informed age.

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Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Terence Morris, Louis Blom-Cooper, Judge
Binding Hardcover
Condition New
Pages 189
ISBN-13 9781904380665
Publisher Waterside Press


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