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'Three strikes' ruled constitutional

REPEAT offenders who commit more than three crimes can be imprisoned for life, the Constitutional Court has ruled in a case over the constitutionality of the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ principle, the TASR newswire reported.

REPEAT offenders who commit more than three crimes can be imprisoned for life, the Constitutional Court has ruled in a case over the constitutionality of the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ principle, the TASR newswire reported.

In 2008, the Pezinok District Court appealed to the Constitutional Court, seeking to have the principle, which was introduced by the amended Penal Code, declared unconstitutional. The court referred to the case of a repeat offender identified only as Karol M. who faced charges of blackmail. Under the principle, the man was to be sentenced for life as he had been convicted for the same crime in the past, although he was only a juvenile when the earlier convictions were secured.

In its ruling, the Constitutional Court found that the principle does not violate the basic right not to be tortured and humiliated. Furthermore, it found that the original complaint was no longer substantiated as the amendment to the Penal Code did not prescribe only life imprisonment, but also allows exceptional 20-year and 25-year sentences.


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