Life Should Mean Life

In Scotland, courts cannot ensure that the worst criminals are never released from prison.

After serving the minimum number of years fixed by the court, an offender who was supposedly sentenced to ‘life’ is automatically considered for release by the Parole Board. For instance, current sentencing guidelines state that someone who murders a child or a police officer will be eligible for release after around 20 years in prison.

It is my ambition to give Scottish judges the same power that is afforded to their counterparts south of the border – the ability to put the worst criminals behind bars for the rest of their lives.

As well as serving the purposes of public safety, punishment and deterrence, prison should rehabilitate most offenders. But some crimes are so appalling that those who commit them will never be fit for release and reintroduction into society.

Presently, Scotland’s justice system fails to provide the penalty of whole life custody. Imprisonment may happen to last the rest of an offender’s life because they are either elderly or sick, but this is not a guarantee. It is an arbitrary system that turns on the individual characteristics of the offender rather than the seriousness of the crime they have committed.

I have therefore published a proposal for a Member's Bill which would give Scottish courts the power to impose a 'Whole Life Custody' sentence for Scotland’s worst criminals.

You can read my consultation document here: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/111685.aspx

The public consultation closed on 30 August 2019. All responses (excluding those 'not for publication') can be found below.

Attachments

Attachment Size
Response 226 Dr Kasey McCall-Smith_125841301.pdf 144.44 KB
Response 225 Edinburgh Bar Association_125874391.pdf 135.24 KB
Response 224 SPARC_125751198.pdf 186.82 KB
Response 223 Louise_125699254.pdf 132.28 KB
Response 222 Steven Stewart_125694903.pdf 134.59 KB
Response 221 Anon_125672762.pdf 132.13 KB
Response 220 Anon_125629504.pdf 135.51 KB
Response 219 Anon_125612567.pdf 130.3 KB
Response 218 Jody McMillan_125579248.pdf 132.12 KB
Response 216 Anon_125476843.pdf 133.24 KB
Response 215 Anon_125462021.pdf 135.08 KB
Response 214 Anon_118366599.pdf 138.11 KB
Response 213 Scott McElvanney_125376566.pdf 134.71 KB
Response 212 Hugh Cumming_125368988.pdf 133.22 KB
Response 211 Elaine Ferguson_125274150.pdf 135.57 KB
Response 210 Byron London_125106668.pdf 133.36 KB
Response 209 Anon_124950976.pdf 131.66 KB
Response 208 Angela Mcnaughton_124936936.pdf 134.95 KB
Response 207 Anon_124936318.pdf 134.21 KB
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Response 205 Anon_124931515.pdf 131.98 KB
Response 204 Sandra Craig_124910829.pdf 132.08 KB
Response 203 William Denny_124905186.pdf 133.33 KB
Response 202 Anon_124904712.pdf 135.25 KB
Response 201 Anon_124902776.pdf 135.8 KB
Response 199 Andrew Burns_124896490.pdf 135.75 KB
Response 198 James Terras_124895460.pdf 134.35 KB
Response 197 Mark Tait_124896365.pdf 132.05 KB
Response 196 Susan Fleming_124895259.pdf 133.4 KB
Response 195 Morag Brown_124894455.pdf 135.21 KB
Response 194 David Middleton_124894037.pdf 132.61 KB
Response 193 Anon_124893856.pdf 132.43 KB
Response 192 Stuart Macpherson_124892499.pdf 134.24 KB
Response 191 Anon_124889271.pdf 135.87 KB
Response 190 Anderson Magee_124888032.pdf 133.26 KB
Response 189 Anon_124887388.pdf 134.62 KB
Response 188 Anon_124887242.pdf 135.92 KB
Response 186 Sandra McGregor_124878853.pdf 135.24 KB
Response 185 Alan Wright_124879601.pdf 133.34 KB
Response 184 Colin Gray_124874782.pdf 134.3 KB
Response 183 Anon_124872975.pdf 134.82 KB
Response 180 Anon_124868774.pdf 135.98 KB
Response 179 Anon_124866582.pdf 132.07 KB
Response 178 Charles Wood_124863367.pdf 132.31 KB
Response 177 Anon_124863351.pdf 129.61 KB
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Response 173 Anon_124856861.pdf 131.75 KB
Response 172 Anon_124853636.pdf 135.08 KB
Response 171 Iain Lax_124854714.pdf 132.63 KB
Response 170 Anon_124854997.pdf 132.36 KB
Response 169 Craig A. McCallum_124853909.pdf 135.66 KB
Response 168 Anon_124854418.pdf 132.34 KB
Response 167 Anon_124853437.pdf 132.23 KB
Response 166 Anon_124696057.pdf 139.11 KB
Response 165 Anon_124368176.pdf 141.29 KB
Response 164 Dr Jamie Buchan_124587090.pdf 146.42 KB
Response 163 Robert Walker_124243430.pdf 129.57 KB
Response 162 Anon_124240848.pdf 136.96 KB
Response 161 John Angus_124231942.pdf 135.51 KB
Response 160 Anon_124216184.pdf 132.16 KB
Response 159 Alexander Falconer_124212101.pdf 133.91 KB
Response 156 Ian Robertson_124205593.pdf 133.55 KB
Response 155 Helen Blackburn_124205483.pdf 135.14 KB
Response 154 Anon_124205489.pdf 132.3 KB
Response 153 Anon_124205610.pdf 130.55 KB
Response 152 Gavin Johnstone_124192588.pdf 129.55 KB
Response 151 Anon_124181995.pdf 135.68 KB
Response 150 Anon_124180660.pdf 133.29 KB
Response 149 Anon_124180828.pdf 132.61 KB
Response 147 Andrew Fraser_119568713.pdf 136.9 KB
Response 146 Anon_123495246.pdf 130.72 KB
Response 145 Anon_123389182.pdf 131.98 KB
Response 144 Anon_123385820.pdf 132.69 KB
Response 143 Joe Roach_123145316.pdf 134.55 KB
Response 142 Rebecca Carr_122531861.pdf 135.31 KB
Response 141 Anon_122372552.pdf 129.83 KB
Response 139 F Mailer_122254590.pdf 131.95 KB
Response 138 Gordon Blair Drummond_121348784.pdf 133.78 KB
Response 137 Zara Doggart_120868628.pdf 137.87 KB
Response 136 Anon_120438703.pdf 129.75 KB
Response 135 Anon_120304671.pdf 132.19 KB
Response 133 Kenny Stewart_120252325.pdf 132.85 KB
Response 132 Amanda Stewart_120224184.pdf 132.06 KB
Response 131 Ashley Hubbard_120223277.pdf 132.21 KB
Response 130 Maggie McGuire_120220597.pdf 132.52 KB
Response 129 Robert Heading_120188579.pdf 133.82 KB
Response 128 Carrie Monaghan_120114788.pdf 133.28 KB
Response 127 John Taylor_120105302.pdf 136.55 KB
Response 126 Anon_120098862.pdf 131.83 KB
Response 125 Lynsey Dailly_120097390.pdf 132.27 KB
Response 124 Anon_120094218.pdf 131.78 KB
Response 123 Claire Campbell_120056065.pdf 134.08 KB
Response 122 Anon_120052281.pdf 132.02 KB
Response 121 Adele Smith_120043652.pdf 134.5 KB
Response 120 Hayley Mackenzie_120037048.pdf 130.88 KB
Response 119 Sam McDonald_120020565.pdf 133.07 KB
Response 118 Vicki McGuire_120015328.pdf 133.39 KB
Response 117 Michele Fairfield_120014346.pdf 131.73 KB
Response 116 Nicola McKenzie_120013694.pdf 132.58 KB
Response 115 Anon_120008476.pdf 133.8 KB
Response 114 Anon_120006839.pdf 135.57 KB
Response 113 Anon_120003996.pdf 134.5 KB
Response 112 Anon_120004627.pdf 132.61 KB
Response 111 Anon_120004438.pdf 135.53 KB
Response 110 Laura Meach_120004674.pdf 132.03 KB
Response 109 Cheryl Colville_120004187.pdf 131.83 KB
Response 108 Carol Byrne_120003470.pdf 133.07 KB
Response 107 Barrie McCourt_120003760.pdf 132.14 KB
Response 106 Anon_120002635.pdf 131.67 KB
Response 105 Matt Mcdonald_120002029.pdf 129.41 KB
Response 104 Anon_120000932.pdf 134.33 KB
Response 103 Anon_119999536.pdf 135.35 KB
Response 102 Anon_119998161.pdf 137.53 KB
Response 101 Anon_119976364.pdf 145.47 KB
Response 100 Anon_119970291.pdf 134.63 KB
Response 99 Linda McDonald_119957361.pdf 137.03 KB
Response 98 Dr Barbara Paterson_119963715.pdf 135.17 KB
Response 97 Isla Keenan_119965685.pdf 132.35 KB
Response 95 Anon_119604719.pdf 136.47 KB
Response 94 Isobel Delussey_119579039.pdf 136.92 KB
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Response 87 Thomas Wark_119528905.pdf 132.4 KB
Response 86 Councillor Lachlan Bruce_119444572.pdf 132.44 KB
Response 85 Kevin Dickson_118957902.pdf 135.69 KB
Response 84 Anon_118563965.pdf 136.29 KB
Response 83 Alistair Sloan_118552548.pdf 134.54 KB
Response 82 Rona Stewart_118519896.pdf 132.49 KB
Response 81 Jessica Gunn_118446396.pdf 130.15 KB
Response 80 Anon_118369569.pdf 133.2 KB
Response 79 Anthony Rodgers_118352654.pdf 132.16 KB
Response 78 Anon_118344033.pdf 135.05 KB
Response 77 Anon_118327387.pdf 133.56 KB
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Response 75 John Alistair_118325823.pdf 133.91 KB
Response 74 Anon_118323191.pdf 130.9 KB
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Response 71 Anon_118266061.pdf 136.04 KB
Response 68 Alan Smith_118253811.pdf 135.25 KB
Response 67 Anon_118250683.pdf 139.43 KB
Response 66 John Trotter_118248849.pdf 134.99 KB
Response 65 Andrew Blyth_118247127.pdf 133.21 KB
Response 64 Anon_118242033.pdf 136.04 KB
Response 63 John Emley_118241891.pdf 138.97 KB
Response 62 Anon_118236861.pdf 132.37 KB
Response 61 Chloe Hunter_118235251.pdf 132.8 KB
Response 60 Christopher G M_118234013.pdf 138.18 KB
Response 59 Anon_118231291.pdf 136.59 KB
Response 58 Anon_118229669.pdf 132.78 KB
Response 57 Anon_118226688.pdf 132.93 KB
Response 56 Paula Heenan_118224671.pdf 133.37 KB
Response 54 Anon_118221741.pdf 135.84 KB
Response 53 Anon_118221627.pdf 132.42 KB
Response 50 Ashleigh Watson_118219462.pdf 135.68 KB
Response 49 Dawn Macbeth_118218552.pdf 134.51 KB
Response 48 Anita Smith_118216434.pdf 133.26 KB
Response 47 Anon_118215887.pdf 132.2 KB
Response 46 Anon_118215392.pdf 133.92 KB
Response 45 Catherine Smith_118214988.pdf 132.83 KB
Response 44 Jonathan Brown_118212369.pdf 136.34 KB
Response 43 Anon_118211685.pdf 132.38 KB
Response 42 Anon_118211639.pdf 130.72 KB
Response 41 Henry Johnston_118208277.pdf 132.87 KB
Response 40 Anon_118208017.pdf 132.86 KB
Response 39 Stuart Shand_118208097.pdf 132.08 KB
Response 38 John Rae_118207118.pdf 135.33 KB
Response 37 Mike Kichalski_118207832.pdf 132.05 KB
Response 35 Anon_118206809.pdf 131.86 KB
Response 34 Scott Macdonald_118201808.pdf 135.71 KB
Response 32 Anon_118151491.pdf 130.7 KB
Response 31 Anon_118105464.pdf 131.66 KB
Response 30 Anon_118084582.pdf 137.28 KB
Response 29 Gillian Jack_118071593.pdf 134.13 KB
Response 28 Anon_118063842.pdf 128.35 KB
Response 27 Brian Smith_118058123.pdf 133.66 KB
Response 26 Caroline Brophy-Parkin_118007057.pdf 133.84 KB
Response 25 Anon_118009737.pdf 132.09 KB
Response 24 Anon_118003812.pdf 131.89 KB
Response 23 David McIntyre_117991717.pdf 131.71 KB
Response 22 Chelsea Brown_117991429.pdf 132.18 KB
Response 21 Anon_117967941.pdf 136.23 KB
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Response 19 Anon_117962749.pdf 135.02 KB
Response 18 Lorraine Green_117957326.pdf 132.07 KB
Response 17 Anon_117954449.pdf 142.74 KB
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Response 15 Anon_117950435.pdf 138.24 KB
Response 14 John Macleod_117943171.pdf 133.07 KB
Response 13 Anon_117921133.pdf 129.83 KB
Response 11 Gordon Bradley_117930389.pdf 132.54 KB
Response 10 Pauline Salvarli_117928262_0.pdf 136.36 KB
Response 9 Professor Richard Simpson_117928044_0.pdf 133.58 KB
Response 8 Anon_117922948_0.pdf 130.88 KB
Response 7 Anon_117914252_0.pdf 139.6 KB
Response 6 Ian Clarke_117913143_0.pdf 135.54 KB
Response 4 Anon_117912462_0.pdf 133.87 KB
Response 3 Anon_117887233_0.pdf 83.86 KB
Response 1 Anon_117886659_0.pdf 80.2 KB
NON SMARTSURVEY Response 8 British Transport Police.pdf 698.81 KB
NON SMARTSURVEY Response 7 Scottish Sentencing Council.pdf 391.86 KB
NON SMARTSURVEY Response 6 Law Society of Scotland.pdf 566.87 KB
NON SMARTSURVEY Response 5 James D. Watson M.Sc_. MBA.pdf 986.5 KB
NON SMARTSURVEY Response 4 Scottish Legal Action Group.pdf 242.96 KB
NON SMARTSURVEY Response 3 Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (Scotland).pdf 464.19 KB
NON SMARTSURVEY Response 2 Howard League Scotland.pdf 622.34 KB
NON SMARTSURVEY Response 1 Dr Hannah Graham & Professor Fergus McNeill.pdf 122.98 KB