The general impression yesterday was that Ken Clarke’s plan for “discounts” to offenders who plead guilty early on was now dead in the water. But is that necessarily the case?
The proposals set out in a green paper in December included raising the maximum sentence discount for an early plea from 33 per cent to 50 per cent.
It was widely reported yesterday that this has been abandoned. That is certainly the case for rape and many other serious offences. But don’t be surprised to see a compromise emerge that includes some of the key features of the original plan; including cash savings from shorter sentences and less tortuous legal processes.
One such compromise could be to cut sentences by more than the current level of a third but less than the 50 per cent initially proposed. By doing this, Clarke may be able to claw back at least some of the £130m estimated savings from the original proposal.