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Since the European Court of Human Rights ruled that whole life terms were a breach of human rights, the Government has been looking at a range of options to deal with the issue.
They now think they may have come up with a way around the ruling, by allowing judges to hand out US-style long sentences, perhaps up to 100 years. They are due to present their proposals to the Court in Strasbourg later this month.
The ECHR is an institution with which the Government is quite happy to pick a fight, and this would give Tory backbenchers another reason to ask David Cameron to take a stronger line against the court and perhaps even threaten to pull out of the European Convention.
There are currently 49 criminals serving whole life terms in English prisons, and David Cameron has vowed to ensure that "life means life" for the worst offences.
Those serving full life terms include Jamie Reynolds, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Shropshire teenager Georgia Williams last year.
Mark Bridger, who was jailed for killing five-year-old April Jones, is also serving a whole life sentence.
David Cameron has promised to ensure murderers can be kept in jail for life amid suggestions that the Government could introduce 100-year-sentences.
The Prime Minister's comments follow a long-running confrontation with the European Court of Human Rights, which has declared life sentences in England illegal because they offer no "right to review".
Ministers believe they can sidestep the ruling by letting judges sentence for hundreds of years, the Telegraph has reported.