Craig Whittaker – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Justice

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Craig Whittaker on 2016-09-02.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners serving a mandatory life sentence have been released early from prison in each of the last 10 years.

Mr Sam Gyimah

A life sentence is mandatory for murder. A life sentence must also be imposed for a second, very serious, specified violent or sexual offence – for example, manslaughter, GBH with intent, rape, and sexual assault on a child under 13 – unless the court finds that there are particular circumstances relating to the offence or the offender which would make it unjust to do so.

Under a life sentence, the offender must serve the full minimum term imposed by the court before being considered for release on life licence by the Parole Board, which will only release an offender if and when it considers it safe to do so. Where a whole life order is imposed the offender is not eligible for parole.

The number of life sentences imposed in each of the last ten years can be found on gov.uk.