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Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 11:50 GMT
Should life mean life?
Floral tributes
Lord Phillips warned of prisons becoming "full of geriatric lifers"
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, ignited a debate about crime and punishment when he said some murderers were spending too long in jail.

After hearing his views, Amy Kite from Norwich, whose sister Greer was murdered six and a half years ago by her ex-boyfriend, contacted BBC Radio Five Live with her story.

My sister had broken up with him a few weeks previously.

He basically couldn't get over the fact that she no longer wanted to be with him.

So in the middle of the night he broke into my parents' house where she was living, got into her bedroom, violently raped her and strangled her.

He pleaded guilty. So it was a very quick trial, fortunately.

He was sentenced to life with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 12 years.

But after eight or nine years he can start the parole hearing process - straight away, it almost seems to us.

The way I feel is that it's very much the victims' families and friends in cases of murder who seem to be the ones suffering life a sentence.

Yes, every case has to be judged on its merits. I don't think you should be blase, making sweeping statements about things.

I think you've got to be quite careful in these situations.

But I feel that 12 years is too short in this case.

I would like to see life meaning life because of the way it's affected us.



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