Home Secretary John Reid has outlined wide-ranging measures to reform the criminal justice system, including longer sentences for some of the more serious offences and an end to the automatic one-third reduction in sentences for guilty pleas.

Dr Reid said he intended to rebalance the criminal justice system in favour of the law-abiding majority and victims, adding that current sentencing practice was ?utterly bewildering to most people?. But Rodney Warren, director of the Criminal Law Solicitors Association, blamed the tabloid press for misrepresenting sentencing matters. ?Public confidence will not be enhanced by constant tinkering with the system,? he added.

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