Lukas Muntingh urges a rethink on imprisonment

In this opinion piece, DOI's Lukas Muntingh argues that life imprisonment in South Africa is a blunt instrument, based on little fact, and which has had no proven impact on violent crime rates. Furthermore, it is now imposed for offences that would not have attracted the death penalty, except in the rarest of circumstances.

He asserts that the  25 years set as the minimum non-parole period is not based on fact but is rather arbitrary. There is no evidence from South Africa, or elsewhere, that long sentences, including life imprisonment, act as a deterrent to would-be offenders. He suggests that it probably necessary to revisit some of the requirements such as shortening the non-parole period depending on certain clearly defined requirements, such as age, criminal history and behaviour in prison. 

To read this opinion piece click here



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