November 26th, 2011

English Court system (modern day) conviction and/or sentencing

I've done a bit of research, and I want to have one of my characters convicted of voluntary manslaughter in England.

First of all, to check that -- does voluntary manslaughter sound reasonable when the character did not premeditate his act, was under the influence, and had been provoked?  I was reading around and that seemed to fit reasonably well, but I was looking at the online CPS guidelines and I might not be translating them well from legalese in to what actually happened. :-)

Secondly, does anyone know how the conviction would actually be phrased?  "This court finds you guilty of voluntary manslaughter" ?  Something more wordy?  Something entirely different?  I've been searching sentencing guidelines, looking for court transcripts, and even attempting to watch episodes of Law and Order UK, all to no avail.  So any help would be appreciated.

Finally, does seven years sound reasonable as a sentence?  I got that from the sentencing guidelines I found online.  I actually don't really care how long it is for the purposes of the story, so if anyone can convince me that some other length of time is better I'm game. 

Thanks in advance for all your help!

EDIT:  Thanks for the help so far.  :-)

I realized I hid my main question in the body of a paragraph, so just to make it clear, what I'm mainly interested in is this:

How would the actual conviction be phrased? Is there a formula that the Judge must/is likely to use?

Thanks!

Isolation in cold salt water

The character is an adult male, early to mid- 30’s. Healthy. Athletic. In the course of the story he spends weeks suffering severe mental stress which ultimately leads him to a bad decision which causes his current situation: He’s gotten trapped in an Isolation Float Tank (kinda like this: http://blog.ernestsemerda.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/tanklayout3.png or this: http://www.elixa.com/float/index.3.jpg)

The tank contains about a foot of extremely salty water (think Dead Sea) and the water would normally be body temperature, but this one’s been sitting abandoned for a while so the water’s gone cold (room temp). The character is trapped inside, the tank is long enough he can stretch out, but is no where close to tall enough for him to stand, he can sit upright. The floor is very slippery. It is pitch black, no lights at all. It’s also soundproof, he can’t hear anything outside the tank. The guy is still completely clothed when he gets stuck. I haven’t completely decided yet, but he’ll be trapped for somewhere between 24-48 hours. What kinds of medical concerns might effect him?

Sorry, this got rather ramble-yCollapse )

British University questions and Conscientious Objectors during World War Two

Setting: 1949 England Chronichles of Narnia Cannon
Googled: British university life 1940;British Higher education 1940; British conscription during world war two; British contentious objectors during world war two.

First, I really wish that I wrote in fandoms that were in my own country which would make my research easier, but you all are so awesome at answering my questions so I am glad I can come here.

Okay,
1) The beginning of the story takes place at Oxford in 1948-1949. I need to know everyday things like what young men might be studying and what subjects they may be taking. Did they have two people to a room on campus or did they rent rooms in town? Where did they eat meals? What kind of leisure things did they do? Any suggested reading would also be great.

2) I know conscientious objectors were not popular, but I am wondering if I can find any actual discussions about it between the for and against camps especially on religious grounds. I can probably make it up, but again I would love to know what people actually thought and said. If my CO was a student, would he still have to register as a CO?

Thanks in advance.
Also I am on an iPad and it won't let me select all the tags I want too. Sorry!