The public need to be educated more [on] what a full life sentence [really] means and who this will affect. They need to know all the different issues including joint enterprise sentencing, automatic life without taking into account the different circumstances for the crime. And what if it was their son or daughter were caught up in a compromising situation, how would they feel?
I believe the most important are the victims. This is obviously a very delicate area, but I believe that if a victim is part of the justice system from the very beginning they will be more likely to be more compassionate further down the line. My understanding and research has shown that if a victim of a violent crime can be involved from the outset through a police liaison officer and then the prosecutor plus the courts there is much more of a chance that later on in the process they may show more empathy towards the offender and their families. If the victims are asked to be involved perhaps with initial sentencing, and also given the chance to speak to the court with an impact statement they will be more understanding in the long run.
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