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A whole life tariff  is a mechanism in British law whereby a prisoner is sentenced to remain in prison until his or her death.  It came into force in 1983 when the British Home Secretary began to set minimum terms that convicted killers had to serve before being considered  for release on life licence. The intention of a whole life tariff was for a prisoner to spend an entire lifetime behind 
bars without ever being released, or even, ever being considered for release.
Only the Home Secretary can grant a release to a prisoner

sentenced to a whole life tariff,


Crimes where whole life tariff are recommended by the law:-
(a) Murder of two or more persons, where each murder involves any of the following:
a substantial degree of premeditation or planning,
the abduction of the victim, or sexual or sadistic conduct,
(b) Child murder if involving the abduction of the child or sexual or sadistic motivation.

(c) murder done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

(d) Murder by an offender previously convicted of murder,
(e) Other offense if the court considers that the seriousness of the offence (or the combination of the offence and one or more offences associated with it) is exceptionally high.


Various appeals by various people on the list have been made over the years, all have failed.


17rth January 2012, A case launched by thee of the killers on the list, Bamber, Moore and Vintner, has failed in the European Court.


Jeremy Bamber, Peter Moore and Douglas Vinter had argued that a sentence which condemns them to die in prison amounts to a breach of articles three, five and seven of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The men argued that condemning them to die in prison amounts to "inhuman or degrading treatment". They also argued all sentences should be reviewed regularly.


The European judges ruled that the whole life tariff is not "grossly disproportionate" and that in each case London's High Court had "decided that an all life tariff was required, relatively recently following a fair and detailed review of each case".


The Current List : (incomplete) UNDER CONSTRUCTION - 11 May 2015



Anthony Arkwright


Paul Glen

Patrick McKay


Stephen Ayre


Mark Hobson

Victor Miller


Rahan Arshad


Anthony Hardy

Peter Moore


Jeremy Bamber


Trevor Hardy

Donald Neilson (Deceased)

  David Baxendale     Dennis Nilsen

Levi Belfield


Archibald Hall

David Oakes


Ian Brady


Myra Hindley (Deceased)

Kenneth Regan


Victor Castigador


Phillip Heggarty

John Straffen (Deceased)


Marc Chivers


William Horncy

Michael Smith


John Childs


Arthur Hutchinson

David Tiley

  John Cooper      

Paul Culshaw


Colin Ireland

Peter Tobin


Victors Dembovskis


Royston Jackson

Douglas Vinter


Glyn Dix


Andrzej Kunowski

Rose West


John Duffy


Desmond Lee

Ernest Wright


Antony Entwistle,


Robert Maudsley

Steven Wright


Malcolm Green


Mark Martin


John McGrady




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