How about a 40-year minimum prison term for hardened criminals instead of death by hanging?
A pro-life representative who is against the death penalty has proposed longer life sentences for heinous crime convicts as an alternative to the plan of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to reinstate capital punishment.
Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza has vowed to push for new legislation that would punish heinous crimes with a harsher form of lifelong incarceration, instead of death by hanging.
Atienza, who earlier backed President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s aggressive stance against crime but cautioned against the “reckless” revival of the death penalty said that “Our alternative is tantamount to locking up a convict and throwing away the key,”.
Under his proposal, those found guilty of grave crimes would receive a sentence called “qualified reclusion perpetua,” which means the convicts will remain in prison for “an absolute minimum of 40 years,” or until they reach the age of 70, whichever comes first, before becoming eligible for parole.
A former Manila City Mayor said that “The problem with the death penalty is that it leaves no room for rectification. We cannot bring a dead convict back to life, even if another party later confesses to having committed the crime for which the [innocent man] had been wrongfully condemned,”.
The death penalty had long been abolished by 140 countries, including the Philippines, describing it as “a cruel and degrading punishment that violates the sanctity of human life.”, he noted.
At present, the maximum penalty in the Revised Penal Code is “reclusion perpetua,” or a simple life term, which actually means 30 to 40 years in prison, with the convict becoming eligible for conditional early release after serving half of the term, or after 15 to 20 years, Atienza said.
A so-called “life termer” under existing laws is also entitled to good conduct or loyalty allowances, and a reduction of sentence for preventive detention or for time spent in jail prior to conviction, he said.
“But under our proposal, all these allowances and the benefit of a reduced sentence for preventive detention would not apply to convicts sentenced to qualified reclusion perpetua,” Atienza said