Five judges at the Court of Appeal in London have been asked to reduce the 30-year minimum term imposed on a man who was jailed for life after he "executed" a stranger in the street in Greater Manchester.
Kiaran Stapleton, 21, who labelled himself "Psycho" when he appeared in court, shot Indian student Anuj Bidve, 23, at point-blank range in Salford.
Lawyers for those currently subject to a whole-life order have asked the court to set a minimum term instead.
David Perry QC, for the Crown, told the judges at the hearing of the appeals that it was seeking to "support the whole-life orders made in the cases of Oakes and Restivo", and the minimum term imposed in Stapleton's case.
He stressed that in making such a concession, "we are not seeking to minimise the seriousness of the offences".
He added: "Our submissions are intended to reflect the fact that a whole-life order is reserved for rare cases of exceptional gravity, where a whole-life order is made for the purpose of pure punishment, and not for public protection."
Offenders become eligible to apply for parole once their minimum term has expired but they are not released until they are deemed to no longer represent a risk to the public.