UK Secretary: Not All Rape Is Equal

Seeks to halve sentences, says rapes 'vary enormously'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 18, 2011 2:05 PM CDT
Britain's Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke delivers a keynote speech at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, England, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

(Newser) – British justice secretary Kenneth Clarke has sparked a furious argument today over the definition of rape after saying he believed date rapes "vary enormously," according to the AP. Clarke was discussing government proposals to halve the sentences of some rapists who plead guilty when he suggested that some assaults are not as serious as others. Opposition leader Ed Miliband called on Prime Minister David Cameron to fire Clarke for making a distinction.

Clarke told the BBC that UK judges already level different sentences based on the circumstances of the rape. He says a teenage boy who has intercourse with a girl who is under the age of consent already receives a shorter sentence than a person who carried out "a serious rape, with violence and an unwilling woman."

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