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People should be deterred from being involved in criminal gang activities but those involved in so-called "joint enterprise" crimes should be sentenced for the crime they are guilty of, Sir Alan Beith has said.
The Justice Committee, chaired by the MP, has called for a review of the legislation, which currently contains a rule that in a joint enterprise murder, it is not possible to charge "minor" players with a lesser offence such as manslaughter.
An urgent review is needed into the so-called 'joint enterprise' legislation which was used to convict the men who murdered black teenager Stephen Laurence, a group of MPs has said.
The legislation currently contains a rule that in a joint enterprise murder, it is not possible to charge "minor" players - who did not encourage or assist in the crime - with a lesser offence such as manslaughter.
The Justice Committee wants that rule scrapped to stop people being sentenced to life in prison for murder when they were not directly involved in the killing.
Joint enterprise laws can apply to any offence, but has recently been used to prosecute murders - in particular ones involving gangs.
They have been invoked in a number of high-profile cases, including the 1993 stabbing of 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence in south London.
David Norris and Gary Dobson were convicted under the rules for his murder.