Monday, November 29

The permanent prison respects the reintegration and reeducation of the prisoner, according to the TC




It is neither disproportionate nor violates the right to personal liberty or criminal legality, since serving 25 years in prison (or up to 35 in special cases of multiple convictions, terrorism and criminal organization) does not exceed the response given in other cases of serious crime. This is assured by the Plenary of the Constitutional Court in which it endorses the reviewable permanent prison introduced in the Penal Code by the PP. Although the ruling was known on October 6, it was not until this Tuesday that the content of the sentence and the individual votes have transcended.

The magistrates consider that the permanent prison nor does it violate the principles of reeducation and social reintegration that they must always guide the execution of institutional custodial sentences, because the treatment and the prison regime applied to the convicted person are adapted at all times to their personal circumstances and personal evolution. In this way European standards are met on the treatment to be given to those sentenced to life or long-term sentences.

Two conditions

After an in-depth study of the contested precepts, the TC declares their constitutionality but demanding an interpretation in accordance with the Magna Carta in two unique aspects: the first is that once the provisional release is granted, it can only be revoked if the offense is committed again. or violates the prohibitions and rules of conduct set forth in the parole order. The second is that the revocation of parole cannot prevent the prisoner from obtaining a new review of the sentence in the future, since denying him definitively all expectations of freedom would be incompatible with the Constitution.

The ruling, of which Encarnación Roca has been the speaker, explains that The permanent prison sentence does not violate the fundamental right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment guaranteed in article 15 of the Constitution, as it can be revised after the completion of a minimum period of 25 years in a penitentiary, by granting the convict by the sentencing court of conditional release, as long as he meets the legal conditions required for it, that is, good behavior, be classified in the third degree prison, positive prognosis of future behavior in freedom.

In this sense, the judgment takes into consideration the preceding pronouncements of the Constitutional Court itself, as well as the European Court of Human Rights, which consider the reviewability of the sentence as a determining factor of its legitimacy.

“Impoverishment” of democracy

The sentence includes a private opinion formulated jointly by justices Juan Antonio Xiol, María Luisa Balaguer and Cándido Conde-Pumpido. All three were in favor of declaring permanent imprisonment unconstitutional by virtue of the humanization of sentences, reintegration (a principle from which the prohibition of life sentences is derived) and legal certainty, from which the prohibition of temporarily indeterminate sentences is derived. .

They criticize the return to a sentence that had disappeared for almost a hundred years and that “during almost forty years of the present democratic regime has not been considered necessary by the legislator, even in contexts in which certain extremely serious crimes seemed to endanger social and social peace. the very survival of the constitutional system ». They think that the presence of this penalty in criminal legislation is an “element of objective impoverishment of the Spanish democratic legal system” and “an example of regression civilizing that makes it a historical anomaly that departs from liberal principles in serving sentences.

In the opinion of Xiol and Balaguer, “the maturity and greatness of a social and democratic state of law is also demonstrated when it is capable of rise up and be resistant to supposedly majority social demands of implantation of penalties that materially suppose a regression in the rationality of the penal order and in the quotas of civilizing advance that democracy itself implies «.

It takes us away from Europe

The magistrate Cándido Conde-Pumpido Tourón in another additional private opinion to which he subscribes with his companions also expresses his specific discrepancy with the specific legal regulation regarding the suspension of the execution of the sentence of permanent reviewable prison, since the requirements that are required determine that said suspension is practically unattainable for the convicted person: the initially indeterminate nature of the sentence, the duration and intensity of the criminal reaction it contemplates and the difficulties it imposes on the constitutional mandate, according to which the custodial sentences must be oriented towards the re-education and social reintegration of the convicted persons. In his opinion, the rigorous conditions required by art. 92 CP (to suspend the sentence) it distances us quantitatively from the European reference models and disregards the re-socialization mandate expressly included in the Constitution as the guiding principle of the system of custodial penalties.

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