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i Editor's Letter: Life sentences get a new ruling



Faced by Jeremy Bamber, Ian Brady, Rosemary West, Dale Cregan, Mark Bridger, Michael Adebolajo, mercy falters. Our cover story, the ruling by Court of Appeal judges that “whole-life” prison sentences are permissible in England and Wales, is a victory for the Conservatives. Exasperated by European courts’ insistence that saying “life means life” was inhumane, David Cameron had even considered American-style 100-year sentences for murderers.

Yet this news – merry enough for a Cabinet minister, you might think – will have been welcomed with clenched teeth by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who will now have to consider the worst murderers’ applications for release on licence in exceptional circumstances. His decisions will be subject to the courts’ scrutiny – caught between the law and a retributive public.


Thank you for so many letters responding to the announcement about an i price rise to 30 pence. We’re grateful for the enthusiastic support, for the criticism and also the proposals to improve the paper.

“Long overdue,” claims Ken Tudor. Reader Ian Smith compares his choice of i to his choice of coffee: “a quality product, strong and black with no sugar”. He thinks 30 pence “still reasonable”, but urges: “Just don’t put up the price too often”, because, for Ian, “the choice isn’t between i and others, but i and none”. I’m grateful to Phil Kirkham, meanwhile. Like many other newsagents, Phil has helped to spread awareness since i’s sudden arrival on the newsstand back in October 2010. “I’ve managed to convert regular Times readers into regular i readers,” he writes.

Alan Williams asks: “Will my prepaid vouchers still cover the new price?” The answer: yes, retailers will accept existing vouchers to meet the new cover price in full.

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