In Münchnen, the judges are rather strict and in Freiburg comparatively mild. This also applies, if account is taken of the Seriousness of the Offence, and, for example, have a criminal record.
How strict a judgment is true, also depends on the location of the court – this is the conclusion scientists Volker Grundies from the Max-Planck-Institute for foreign and international criminal law. For his analysis, he analyzed 1.5 million decisions from three years ago (read more about it here).
The Augsburg-based law Professor, has written an opinion on the subject. In this Interview, he explains where the differences come from – and what you can do about it.
To the Person’s faculty of law University of Augsburg, Germany John Kaspar Born in 1976, is a Professor of criminal law, criminal procedural law, criminology and sanctions law at the University of Augsburg.
MIRROR ONLINE: The hardness of a judgment also depends on in which city it is spoken. Are you surprised?
Kaspar : no, several studies have demonstrated. Especially in traffic – or drug-related offences, the differences are striking. This is a big Problem.
MIRROR ONLINE : where are these differences?
Kaspar : the deeds itself, it is not: such factors as the gravity of the offence or the criminal record of the accused into account the Freiburg study. In my opinion, it is not even on the preferences of the population. Surveys have shown that people have a hardness in the South of Germany and even lower expectations of the Criminal as a North German. In the case of the criminal, it is hardness but not Vice versa: The judgments in the North harder than the South.
MIRROR ONLINE : In the current investigation is the speech of Criminal, the judge and prosecutors to use as a template.
Kaspar : As a trainee, I have seen once such a table. Since sense according to: theft, loot under 50 euros, no record of criminal convictions: procedure. Similar lists exist for drink-driving – because it went to the Alcohol level and the damage. Of course not, I was told, these proposals were not binding. I understand the need for such tables, especially young lawyers looking for guidance.
MIRROR ONLINE : then What’s the argument against?
Kaspar : It is a Problem that this orientation takes place only locally. So, despite of similar acts to regional Differences.
deviations in the criminal duration
MIRROR ONLINE : judge, argue, that there is no tort of the other is comparable. So there can be no same penalties.
Kaspar : This is not a good Argument. The Freiburg study and other studies show that judges reduce the complexity. They are based on individual factors such as the Severity of the Offence, the criminal record, the confession. Only has a two years sentence in the back of the head, and the other three years. Therefore, the legislator has to intervene.
MIRROR ONLINE : What do you mean?
Kaspar : The range of penalties is in some cases too broad. In homicide, for instance, it ranges from one year in prison up to life imprisonment. Another example of the ease of theft is: The upper limit is five years. In practice, it is used almost never, you lower, but would avoid outliers. In addition, the legislature should create a sentencing Commission.
MIRROR ONLINE: you need to explain.
Kaspar : by which I mean a group of experts from science and practice, collected in empirical studies, which judgments are for typical configurations in the usual way. They will then draw up recommendations for the sentence. You should also collect the opinion of the population and let it slip.
MIRROR ONLINE : Will not undermine judicial independence?
Kaspar : We can see that judges and prosecutors need guidance and you also are looking for – but only locally. Since it is highly non-transparent. The Commission’s recommendations were clear and nationally uniform. Because it is only recommendations would be the judges enough leeway.
MIRROR ONLINE : What do the practitioners think of this proposal?
Caspar: At the Juristentag in Leipzig at the end of September was the majority against it. The Commission was most probably a great intervention. But I feel great interest, when I speak with judges about the topic. You want to information.