June 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

No more sentences without punishment – they will go to prison even for crimes of negligence

The Ministry of Justice is starting to develop changes to the Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure of Greece, designed to put an end to “impunity” – they will be presented and submitted for public discussion by the end of the month.

Causes of road traffic accidents resulting in death, negligent arsonists, and other offenders who are convicted and then released on parole and meanwhile again violate the provisions of the Criminal Code will now be treated completely differently by the justice system, and the risk of imprisonment conclusions will exist not only on paper.

These changes are included in a package of more than 60 changes to the provisions of the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes, which is being prepared by the Minister of Justice Georgios Florides and which is expected to be presented and put out for public consultation before the end of November.

“Greek society has experienced a sense of lawlessness and impunity for decades,” – Floridas emphasized, speaking recently at an event “Circle of Ideas” Evangelos Venizelos, concerning the area of ​​his own competence, once again setting the tone for the upcoming changes for cases of so-called “petty crime”.

“So it creates the feeling that in Greece, no matter what you do, no matter what criminal activity you develop, you will not have any consequences,” the minister added.

Changes to the Criminal Code are expected to be discussed in November, which will include changes to the way some convicts serve their sentences.

He explained that, according to the proposed provisions, not all convicts without exception will be sent to prison, but there will be a graduated provision, moving to three different levels: the first is the restoration of the conversion of sentences into a monetary equivalent, which in some cases can reach 100 euros per day; the second is social work and the relationship of this measure with a large number of government agencies, in addition to local governments; the third is serving the sentence either partially or completely.

In practice, this means that the defendant will be able to serve part of the sentence and buy back another part or “serve” it in an alternative way – community service.

Thus, as the Minister of Justice explained, sentences – or rather, parts of sentences – even for crimes committed through negligence, will be served in accordance with the upcoming changes. “The rule will be the end of impunity, and exceptions will be of a suspensive nature. This will now be seen as a general intervention, and in some crimes, in particular, it will be greatly strengthened,” – said Georgios Floridas, citing numerous traffic offenses as an example.

“There’s a provision in the code for negligent manslaughter, based on the lowest sentence being three months. Now those three months become basically two or three years… You can’t serve three months if you’ve killed a person.”

In addition, the same legislative act includes significant changes for those cases where a person was arrested, prosecuted, convicted in the first instance with a sentence of more than one year and, while still on parole, commits a new crime. In this case, he will not be sent to prison only if the court, in a reasoned decision, considers that execution of the sentence is not necessary to prevent the convicted person from committing new crimes, otherwise the entire sentence or part of it will be served.

“I’ve said this before. What distinguishes him is two things: the first is the provision of multiple sentences, and the second is the amazing ingenuity to ensure that the sentences are not served.” – Florida repeated in connection with the upcoming changes in legislation.

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