The Independent Sentencing Guidelines Council, chaired by the lord chief justice, Lord Woolf, maintained its stance yesterday that murderers who plead guilty should receive a discounted jail term.

But it halved the amount after objections from the home secretary and the home affairs select committee.
Lord Woolf was widely criticised for the council's first draft guidelines in September, which suggested that criminals who plead guilty should receive a discount of up to one-third, depending on how early they admitted their guilt.

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