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Real Crime: Locked Up for Life cover art

Real Crime: Locked Up for Life

By: Julian Druker
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AUD $16.45/mo after 2 months. Renews automatically. Cancel anytime.

  • Summary

  • Some crimes are so horrific they attract the harshest punishment possible: a sentence that means the guilty will die behind bars.

    From "˜the Crossbow Cannibal' to Moors murderer Myra Hindley, journalist Julian Druker explores the cases of eight criminals with whole life orders and asks what this means for the criminals and society.

    Told through archive news coverage of these crimes, this series explores the judicial and sentencing processes, as well as the legal, ethical and political dimensions of whole life orders.

    We chart the evolution of these whole life sentences from the 1980s to the present day, and explore how politicians' desire to appear "˜tough on crime' has resulted in an increase of the UK prison population.

    An ITN production for Audible Originals.

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 8 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2020 Audible, Ltd. (P)2020 Audible, Ltd.
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Episodes
  • Ep. 1: Arthur Hutchinson - What is a Whole Life Sentence?
    Apr 6 2020

    It was 1983, and Suzanne Laitner’s wedding day, but it was also the day Arthur Hutchinson killed both her parents and her brother and raped her 18-year-old sister. Arthur Hutchinson was one of the first people to get a whole life sentence – but what does that mean, and how did this form of life sentence come about?

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    28 mins
  • Ep. 2: Stephen Griffiths - Are Murderers Evil?
    Apr 6 2020

    Stephen Griffiths was dubbed ‘the Crossbow Cannibal’ by the tabloid press and he quickly adopted the name himself and courted his ‘evil’ image. Julian explores what we mean by evil, and if it is a word that has a place within criminal justice.

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    26 mins
  • Ep. 3: Stephen Port - Defending the Guilty
    Apr 6 2020

    Stephen Port became known as ‘the Grindr Killer’ because he found his victims through gay social networking apps. The case against him was overwhelming – and his legal costs were footed by the taxpayer – Julian asks why we defend the guilty and who should pay for it.

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    25 mins

What listeners say about Real Crime: Locked Up for Life

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Change the name..

Strays from the actual crime and waffles on about prison systems and politics.. yawn. If you are after true crime, avoid this. If you want politics and info on the justice systems, go ahead.

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Entertainment on the go

This podcast has great production and documentary aspects. It also features insightful and engaging ideas.

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Title makes it sound better than it is...

The original 'Real Crime' podcast was fascinating and I wish they had done more episodes, another season or two at least. This series is simply boring, and from what I've been able to get through, just a soap box for bleeding hearts and psychologists who want to make a name for themselves... I forced myself to listen to three episodes, thinking it would get better, but I won't be wasting my time with any more.

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Informative and engaging

Loved it. The structure of the series, each episode focussing on a different aspect of what is involved when a perpetrator is given 'life' as a punishment, makes for easily understood but detailed information. Really well narrated.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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good

So informative I’m about to re-listen to this book. The end chapter is probably the most important

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good

this is good to listen to narration was good. it was informative and the experts knowledgeable

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Other factors to consider

Some people may be lucky to never be affected by crime, others may have something minor committed against them and yet there are others that are greatly impacted. This series provided insightful discussion on other factors that are involved. As hurt as we may be, not all things are black and white ... there are mitigating factors amd yet what do we do. A further respect of the process and challenges encountered when trying to determine an appropriate punishment for the crime committed.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Rubbish

I didn't even bother to download anything after the first episode, it was all about the law and politics burning nothing to do with the crimes

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting and nuanced

Really enjoyed the careful discussion of political and psychological aspects of crime and sentencing. Definitely leans towards analysis of flaws in the system and the struggles of reform. Respectful of victims and their families, and stays away from the gruesome sensationalism that it seems some of the other reviewers were after.

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  • Tex
  • 03-06-2020

compelling storytelling

this journalist, legal professionals and real headlines made for easy listening on a great topic

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-12-2021

title

Britain's most chilling crimes are brought sensationally to life in this compelling new series, using court room transcripts, police interviews, 999 calls, secret audio recordings and eye witness testimony.

This immersive, revealing and often shocking series explores some of the UK's most infamous crimes. Featuring sophisticated sound design, exclusive new interviews and creative use of news archive, the show brings fresh perspectives on the crimes that shocked Britain.

With new insights into those responsible - from the shocking mu

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  • ME
  • 27-02-2021

not my cup of tea

If you are a psychologist, you will probably really enjoy this podcast, since that is what it is mostly about, psychologists and prison workers giving their opinions on whether a full life sentence is a good idea or not.

Each episode gave a short 1-2 minute story of a person's crime(s) that got them locked up for life. The remaining 23 minutes or so was all used up with people's opinions about how it should have been handled with a different topic each time (ex: showing remorse, psychological problems, etc.)

I was hoping to hear the full story, of each person's crimes, not evaluate whether they showed remorse or not. Now, I do think the psychologists should have had their input in the podcast, just I wish that wasn't the focal point.

The performance was good, but the stories were extremely lame to me, although I did learn something new and enjoyed it a little bit. I just wanted more excitement and more of the criminals stories and the entire detailed story of their crimes, not evaluate whether they should be locked up for life or not.

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  • Amy
  • 14-10-2020

Dry but informative

If you enjoy biographies about crime dramas, you might enjoy this series. I found it a bit tedious to listen to. There are definitely better crime stories available.

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  • Adam Gray
  • 13-04-2020

The absurd liberal case for being soft on crime

As others have noted, this series is not an investigation into real crime: it is little more than a platform for the extreme liberal fringe to make their case for soft sentencing and putting the rights of criminals above those of their victims.

The most outrageous view in this series, perpetuated by pretty much every expert interviewed is that anyone who believes sentencing should be tough and that prison is principally there to punish is ignorant. The only valid "expert" view is that criminals should be kept out of prison, prisons should be joyous, fun-filled recreation because anything else infringes on human rights; and that it is a moral offence for there to be any reference in sentencing to the victims, their families, or wider society's values.

A whole episode of this liberal whining was devoted to the issue of cognitive bias. Something Mr Druker might like to have reflected on given that every episode was a rehash of claims that prisoners are really decent people if only they'd been hugged in their hoodie-wearing days, prison should be about rehabilitation, judges and jurors are racist; only left-leaning lawyers should have any say on criminal justice; and that everyone who has the temerity to disagree is an ignorant extremist.

The attempt to sell the European Court of Human Rights as simply establishing a benign list of human rights to prevent a repeat of the Holocaust is laughable: this is an activist court imposing a radical and increasingly eccentric form of judicial activism on countries that never signed up for this liberal extremism when the convention was drafted. There is no attempt at balance: Michael Howard is bad because he believes prison works; Kenneth Clarke is good because he believes prison doesn't work and wants criminals released to further endanger the public. We are supposed to just accept that this narrow clique of ludicrous liberals knows best. It has clearly never occurred to anyone interviewed that politicians - rather than simply trying to win votes at elections - might actually believe that keeping Myra Hindley in prison for life was the morally correct thing to do, and that the majority of society is right to want criminals punished properly (severely).

Whoever came up with the title for this podcast didn't listen to it cos it doesn't do what it says on the tin.

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  • Kinga Kereszturi
  • 10-04-2020

very misleading

very misleading, it's not about the crime itself, it's about the justice system. not what I expected from the title.

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  • Paolo Caldato
  • 21-04-2020

Disappointingly one-sided and simplistic

This audiobook had a lot of potential - the subject-matter is interesting, and it had input from some very eloquent and intelligent advocates. Unfortunately, it was a rather unsubtle vehicle for a particular view-point that appears to have been shared by all its main contributors, namely that prison doesn't work, whole-life orders are unnecessary, unjustifiable and counter-productive, and that "evil" is a meaningless concept and as such criminals cannot really be held responsible or punished for the most heinous crimes.

None of the above is necessarily a problem for me - I don't agree with any of those views, but I am not an expert and I am willing to hear a balanced and sensible discussion of them between people who are experts. That's why I downloaded the podcast in the first place.

What I got instead was a series of entirely unchallenged assertions by a defence QC, a criminal psychologist and a criminal law lecturer/criminologist about their shared opinion that, in effect, we're too tough on criminals and that the current system needs to be re-jigged so as to focus on their needs a little more. The defence QC even made the assertion that the vast majority of the prison population should not be in prison.

The early part of the series focused on their shared view that there is no such thing as "evil", and that all crime can be explained solely by reference to nature and nurture. It's an incredibly reductionist way of thinking and essentially strips people of their responsibility for their actions. That part of the series was almost entirely one-sided.

The alternative view-point was occasionally sought later on in the series, during discussion of "draconian" legislation such as the Criminal Justice Act 2003, with the odd contribution from the likes of David Blunkett. There was also passing, sneering reference at various points to "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime", Tony Blair and, of course, those evil Tories (amazing how they can always been seen as evil by a section of the metropolitan elite that otherwise does not believe in absolutes like "evil"!).

At times, the discussion verged into the simplistic and contradictory. The 2003 Act was criticised repeatedly for removing sentencing discretion from judges for certain offences; then, around three minutes later, and as part of the same complaint about our supposedly inhumane justice system, the same commentators criticised the judiciary for consisting of, apparently, biased white middle-aged men whose sentencing decisions were driven in large part by their inherent bias. Well - shouldn't you be lauding the 2003 Act, then, for bringing some objectivity into play? But no, because the real complaint was that the commentators' client population was facing sentencing and imprisonment in the first place.

And that's the problem with this series. The commentators were almost exclusively taken from a body of people whose livelihoods and focus are centred on criminals, and their views were driven almost entirely by their perceptions of what was most favourable to criminals. Almost no effort was expended in challenging the views expressed, or getting the counter-arguments from, say, the CPS, police, victim bodies (other than the occasional clip of a victim's relative sounding distressed and reactionary, and of course provincial). The idea that politicians, who are accountable to the people, might have any role to play in the process was sneeringly pooh-poohed, because they're just motivated by the Daily Mail you know and Heaven forfend that the tax-payer and ordinary citizen should have any input into the process. The idea that there might be wider factors, going beyond the criminals' interests, that might justify locking them up for a very very long time (and possibly for their whole lives) was given no serious consideration.

It was, in short, almost comical that a series that repeatedly banged the drum against bias and for fair trials was so unconsciously biased and put our criminal justice system on trial without allowing it to call any real evidence in its defence.

The final 30 seconds of the podcast were devoted to the victims of the various serial killers looked at throughout the series. And that was wholly appropriate, because throughout the series the victims' interests were always treated as a box-ticking after-thought.

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