Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965


Murder (Abolition of DeathPenalty) Act 1965

1965 CHAPTER 71

An Act to abolish capital punishment in the case of persons convicted in Great Britain of murder or convicted of murder or a corresponding offence by court-martial and, in connection therewith, to make further provision for the punishment of persons so convicted.

[8th November 1965]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Abolition of death penalty for murder.

1 Abolition of death penalty for murder.

(1) No person shall suffer death for murder, and a person convicted of murder shall, subject to subsection (5) below, be sentenced to imprisonment for life.

(2) On sentencing any person convicted of murder to imprisonment for life the Court may at the same time declare the period which it recommends to the Secretary of State as the minimum period which in its view should elapse before the Secretary of State orders the release of that person on licence under section 27 of the Prison Act 1952 or section 21 of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1952 .

(3) For the purpose of any proceedings on or subsequent to a person's trial on a charge of capital murder, that charge and any plea or finding of guilty of capital murder shall be treated as being or having been a charge, or a plea or finding of guilty, of murder only; and if at the commencement of this Act a person is under sentence of death for murder, the sentence shall have effect as a sentence of imprisonment for life.

(4) In the foregoing subsections any reference to murder shall include an offence of or corresponding to murder under section 70 of the Army Act 1955 or of the Air Force Act 1955 or under section 42 of the Naval Discipline Act 1957 , and any reference to capital murder shall be construed accordingly; and in each of the said sections 70 there shall be inserted in subsection (3) after paragraph (a ) as a new paragraph (aa )—

‘(aa ) if the corresponding civil offence is murder, be liable to imprisonment for lift’.

(5) In section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 , and in section 57 of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937 , there shall be substituted for subsection (1)—

(1) A person convicted of an offence who appears to the court to have been under the age of eighteen years at the time the offence was committed shall not, if he is convicted of murder, be sentenced to imprisonment for life, nor shall sentence of death be pronounced on or recorded against any such person; but in lieu thereof the court shall (notwithstanding anything in this or in any other Act) sentence him to be detained during Her Majesty's pleasure, and if so sentenced he shall be liable to be detained in such place and under such conditions as the Secretary of State may direct.’

S-2 Release on licence of those sentenced for murder.

2 Release on licence of those sentenced for murder.

2. No person convicted of murder shall be released by the Secretary of State on licence under section 27 of the Prison Act 1952or section 21 of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1952unless the Secretary of State has prior to such release consulted the Lord Chief Justice of England or the Lord Justice General as the case may be together with the trial judge if available.

S-3 Short...

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