Naughten: Discussion needed about the way courts hand down sentences

The Communications Minister says there needs to be a discussion about the way sentences are handed down in our courts.

Denis Naughten raised the issue of the use of 'concurrent sentences' rather than 'consecutive' ones at Cabinet today.

Tomorrow the Seanad will debate a call for minimum custodial sentences to be applied in cases of murder, currently someone convicted gets an automatic 'life' sentence but can be eligible for parole after just a few years.

Minister Naughten says how sentences are imposed needs to be looked at.

"I did raise the issue in relation to concordant and consecutive sentences. There is the opportunity there to use consecutive sentences a lot of the time what we see is them all being lumped together and serving just a single term.

"Now look, this is a matter for the judiciary they are independent but I think it is something that needs to be looked at in the broader context."

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