JUSTICE

Full pardon of sentences up to five years in prison able to stir social insecurity

Fully pardoning prison sentences of up to and including five years is able to stir up social insecurity, according to an opinion issued by the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM) on a draft law concerning pardoning.

“Given that the punishment meted under a final court ruling has to be executed so that the punishment may attain its functions and purposes, we are of the opinion that releasing a significant number of people with criminal antecedents (as the draft suggests full pardon of prison sentences up to five years) is able to stir up special insecurity,” reads CSM’s opinion posted on the website of the organisation.

CSM argues that rethinking the higher limit of the sentence is desirable in order to avoid instances in which releasing serious criminals would endanger public peace and security.

“We want to underscore that against the special upper limits provided for under the new Criminal Code, the punishment meted out cannot be smaller than those meted out under the 1968 Criminal Code for equally serious offences, but a five-year prison sentence in the case of first time criminal is the consequence of a serious criminal offence,” reads the CSM opinion.

About partial pardoning, CSM says the law should clearly specify that this is for sentences in excess of five years because smaller sentences would qualify for full pardoning.

Another CSM observation regards the incidence of pardoning on sentences conditionally enforced.

The name of the draft law is suggested to change from law concerning the pardoning of some punishment into draft law concerning the pardoning of punishment and educational remedies consisting in deprivation of liberty, given that what is being proposed is more than pardoning as it also involves repealing other criminal sanctions namely educational remedies consisting in deprivation of liberty for at most five years.

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