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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


22 January 2017


Anthony Arkwright


Christopher Haliwell

Lee Newell

Michael Adebalajo Andrew Dawson

Phillip Heggarty

Dennis Nilsen

Stephen Ayre

Victors Dembovskis

William Horncy

David Oakes

Rahan Arshad

Joanna Dennehy

Arthur Hutchinson

Paul Ohara

Jeremy Bamber

Glyn Dix

Colin Ireland

Kenneth Regan
David Baxendale Wilbert Dyce Royston Jackson Stephen Port

Levi Belfield

John Duffy

George Johnson

John Sweeney

Ian Brady

Anthony Entwistle

Arthur Simpson-Kent Gary Smith
Mark Bridger Stephen Farrow

Desmond Lee

Michael Smith
Victor Castigador Malcolm Green Thomas Mair

Peter Sutcliffe

Marc Chivers

Stephen Griffiths Mark Martin

David Tiley

John Childs

Paul Glen

Robert Maudsley Peter Tobin
John Cooper

Mark Hobson

Thomas McDowell Douglas Vinter
David Cook

Anthony Hardy

John McGrady Rose West
Dale Cregan

Trevor Hardy

Ian McLoughlin

Ernest Wright

Paul Culshaw Archibald Hall Victor Miller

Steven Wright



Peter Moore Simon Wilson























Those who had been given a 'Whole Life tariff' but have since died.







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