This Note explores the differences between the American legal system’s sentencing procedures for murder with the procedures of England and Wales. This Note attempts to determine how this divide occurred and whether the two countries chose the appropriate way to sentence their murderers. In particular, this Note focuses on England’s and Wales’s lack of degrees of murder and the United States’ practice of plea bargaining. Part II discusses the history of American and English criminal law and how these countries similarly evolved from their origins to the late nineteenth century. Part III explores modern criminal law theory progressing from the early twentieth century to present time. Part IV studies the manner in which modern procedures, government structure, and politics have influenced sentencing for murder. Part V offers suggestions on how each country can attempt to incorporate a part of the other’s criminal punishment scheme to make for more effective systems with regard to the punishment for murder.

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