Over 100 Romanian prisoners released after new Criminal Code comes into force

The recent enforcement of the new Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure in Romania led to the early release of prisoners, and raised concerns amidst all those involved in Romania’s judicial system.

Romanian courts ordered on Saturday (February 1) the release of 122 prisoners who were serving jail sentences across Romania, after the new Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure came into force, according to a statement of ANP. Over 170 prisoners were also transferred to detention centers.

Some of the main changes introduced by the two codes include house arrest, a single way of making an appeal, as well as softer punishments for primary offenders and more severe sentences for those who commit several crimes or recidivists. House arrest would thus replace the prohibition on leaving the country or the city.

The new legislation also introduces ‘day fines’, mild punishment for minors, a guilt recognition agreement between the prosecutors and the offender, and sets a five-year prison sentence for euthanasia.

The ‘day fine’ would have a certain value attached to each day of punishment, and the person can either serve the time, or pay its fine equivalent.

‘First, the new Criminal Code brings a harmonized view of the criminal law with the criminal legislation of the EU member states and, on the other hand, also standardizes the offenses and the criminal provisions in the special legislation with the ones in the Criminal Code, something that hasn’t existed so far in Romania (for example, over 300 special laws with criminal provisions were correlated with the new Criminal Code),” judge Mihai Udroiu said in an interview for Agerpres newswire.

The new Criminal Code and Code for Criminal Procedure entered into force on February 1, 2014.

Irina Popescu, [email protected]

(photo source: sxc.hu)