Permanent prison sentence proposal rejected by Balearic parliament

PERMANENT SENTENCE: The powers were introduced in 2015 and gave courts the option to use the sentences for particular crimes PERMANENT SENTENCE: The powers were introduced in 2015 and gave courts the option to use the sentences for particular crimes Shutterstock

A MOTION from the Partido Popular (PP) which would have given the Balearic parliament’s support to permanent prison sentences was rejected after two parties abstained.

Jose Manuel Lafuente, a PP member of the Balearic chamber, defended the proposal during a session yesterday. He said the parliament would not be voting to back thinly-veiled life imprisonments.

He added the sentence had the support of eight out of ten citizens and that it is used in other EU countries.

Both the Ciudadanos and Pi parties abstained from the vote in the Balearic chamber. Pi deputy Josep Melia said the sentence was being used vengefully and that emphasis should be placed on rehabilitating prisoners instead.

The vote comes as proceedings to repeal the sentence are set to be submitted to the Spanish Congress of Deputies.

The reviewable permanent prison sentence was brought into law in 2015 with the PP the only party to vote in favour of it.

It gives courts the power sentence those found guilty of crimes such as terrorism, assassination of political figures and serious murders to prison until they are deemed fit for release.

Those handed the sentence are required to serve a minimum amount of time in prison before they qualify for such a review.

 Its supporters argue that it keeps society safe from dangerous criminals. Critics say that it denies those in prison the chance to reintegrate into society. An online petition calling for its repeal was signed by more than two million people.

Joe Gerrard

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