President refers law on dangerous criminals to tribunal

President refers law on dangerous criminals to tribunal

President Bronislaw Komorowski sent the law ordaining closed medical treatment for prison-released persons with mental disorders or placing them under police supervision to the Constitutional Tribunal. 

fot.Tomasz Gzell/PAP/EPA

fot.Tomasz Gzell/PAP/EPA

The president signed the law of November 22, 2013 but declared that he would check its constitutionality.

The law, which evoked controversy among lawyers and physicians, was a response to the release of several serial killers whose original death sentences were commuted to 25-year prison terms after the 1989 fall of communism.

After completing their sentences, persons with mental disorders considered likely to relapse into their criminal activity after leaving prison are to be placed in a specially-built closed therapy centre or under police supervision. Decisions on post-sentence therapy is to be made by a court on the basis of psychiatric observations of the subjects in prison.

In response to claims that the law could prove unconstitutional as it imposed a second penalty for the same crime, the Justice Ministry explained that a similar law in Germany was passed by the German constitutional tribunal and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Earlier the Helsinki Foundation and Helsinski Human Rights Foundation pointed out that the law could be found to violate human rights standards. (PAP)

 

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