Sentences should be honest and not give the wrong impression. Instead of "Ten years" meaning "Five years unless you misbehave in prison" the honest sentence "Five years unless you misbehave, in which case it may be ten years." would be given.

"You will be sent to prison indefinately for the protection of the public." would become "You will be reviewed in four years and if you are thought to no longer threaten the public, you will be released."

However, I think that an even better idea would be to mean what we say, i.e. "Ten years" means "You will serve ten years." and "Life." means "You will spend the rest of your life in prison."

Why is this idea important?

It would help restore the confidence of the public in a judicial system which is seen as favouring the criminal at the expense of victims.

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