Guernsey States agrees minimum life sentence law

Guernsey's Royal Court, rather than the UK's High Court, will decide the minimum length of life sentences, the States has decided.

Deputies voted in favour of legislation being drawn up to allow the change.

Currently most offenders sentenced to life are sent to UK prisons at which point the High Court decides the minimum term.

Home Minister Geoff Mahy said the change would have a number of benefits.

He said: "The offender and any other interested person would know the length of the minimum term shortly after he had begun to serve his sentence.

"Often relatives of victims would find this helpful in coming to terms with the sentence."

The change will bring Guernsey in line with the law in the other Crown Dependencies.

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