Dr Max Lowenstein talks about Philpott sentencing on BBC Radio Solent
4 April 2013
Dr Max Lowenstein, a Lecturer in Law at BU, was interviewed on BBC Radio Solent's drivetime programme about high profile sentencing cases taking place that day.
Mick and Mairead Philpott had been sentenced for the manslaughter of their six children in a house fire, alongside friend Paul Mosley, earlier that day.
Mick Philpott received a life sentence, but could be released after 15 years, while Mairead and Mosley could be released after serving half of their 17 year prison term.
Presenter Steve Harris said that many listeners believed that it was not a long enough sentence but Dr Lowenstein explained that judge's hands could sometimes be tied by the law in terms of the punishment they could hand out.
"What would be interesting is what sort of emotions the judge is picking up on and what sort of perspectives the judge is picking up on, because we have the offender, the victim and the public," said Dr Lowenstein, who specialises in criminal law and sentencing.
"Within the remarks that the judge makes, they will be referring to different perspectives in order to justify the sentence."
He added: "The range of sentencing [for manslaughter] is also extremely wide - manslaughter has a discretionary life sentence, as opposed to the mandatory life sentence for murder, and can range from conditional discharge to life in prison, which is a huge range for judicial discretion.
"In this particular case, the Philpott case, you can see that the judge has taken the highest possible sentence for manslaughter."
You can hear the interview in full here.
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