The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
A discretionary life sentence is a life sentence given to an offender in respect of an offence for which life imprisonment is provided as the maximum penalty.
A number of offences carry life imprisonment, eg manslaughter, arson, robbery. However, this does not mean that an offender will receive a life sentence.
Life sentences are generally reserved for those cases where the culpability of the offender is particularly high or the offence exceptionally serious.
A discretionary life sentence is therefore different to a mandatory life sentence which must be given to those offenders convicted of murder. See Practice Note: Mandatory life sentences.
The general restrictions on imposing discretionary custodial sentences apply to discretionary life sentences. Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003), the court must not impose a custodial sentence unless it is of the opinion that the offence or combin
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