Wednesday 26 February 2020

Prosecution chief calls for higher maximum jail time for manslaughter

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The head of the Dutch public prosecution department has told Trouw in an interview that he supports a higher maximum sentence for manslaughter.

At the moment manslaughter – killing on impulse – carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail. But with a 30-year maximum for murder, the difference between the two crimes has become too great, Gerrit van der Burg told the paper.

‘Impulsive crimes can also be part of a pattern of bad behaviour,’ Van der Burg told the paper. ‘Legally it may be impossible to prove that we are talking about murder, but it would be good if the difference was made smaller.’

Justice ministry officials are currently working on new rules which would reduce the difference in the maximum sentencing options open to judges, the paper said.

Between 2006 and 2018, 345 people were found guilty of murder in the Netherlands and 688 were convicted of manslaughter.

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