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May 15, 2021

Gov’t suspends, until September 1, sentence reduction procedure for “convict-writers”

The Government decided on Wednesday to suspend, until September 1, the convicts’ possibility to have their sentences reduced by 30 days for every scientific paper written in jail. The information was revealed by Government Spokesperson Dan Suciu, who pointed out that the Government has decided to suspend the stipulation, not to eliminate it as the Justice Ministry’s draft emergency ordinance intended to do, because it also took into account the Supreme Magistracy Council’s (CSM) objections.

The decision comes against the backdrop in which the Government meeting’s official agenda included the emergency ordinance drafted by the Justice Ministry, which stipulated the complete elimination of the legal provisions that concern the reduction of sentences for convicts that author scientific papers.

“The Government clearly considers that at this moment an abuse of law was made through the excessive use of this stipulation, up to the point in which a mechanism was formed. We are talking about a suspension of the said stipulation. I believe the arguments have been brought for some time now. The Justice Minister talked about this modification and about the need to urgently intervene, bearing in mind the excessively high number of papers written in jail. The absolutely fantastic evolution of these papers written in jail can be seen, from none in 2006 to 337 papers last year, all of which claim to have a scientific character and consequently have had effects on the reduction of sentences,” Suciu said at the end of the Government’s meeting.
Dan Suciu explained that the Justice Minister proposed the abrogation of the article concerned, but in the end the Government decided only to suspend it, thus taking into account CSM’s point of view. The CSM does not want the elimination of the possibility of reducing prison sentences in the case of persons that write scientific papers.

The suspension measure was accepted by Premier Dacian Ciolos, who ordered the setting up of an inter-ministerial working group that would figure out a mechanism of assessing the scientific character of papers written by convicts.

The Justice Ministry’s draft emergency government ordinance sought to abrogate Article 96, Paragraph 1, Letter (f) of Law no.254/2013 on the serving of prison sentences ruled by judiciary bodies. The draft was put up for public debate last Friday.

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