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OUTLINING THE INDETERMINATE SENTENCE LAW

(R.A. No. 4103, effective Dec. 5, 1933)


A. Purpose

To uplift and redeem valuable human material, and prevent unnecessary and
excessive deprivation of liberty and economic usefulness. Penalties shall not be standardized but fitted as far as is possible to the individual, with due regard to the imperative necessity of protecting the social order. (People v. Ducosin, 59 Phil 109) B. Coverage 1. courts 2. GENERAL RULE: All persons convicted of certain crimes under Philippine

EXCEPTIONS (Sec. 2): Law will NOT apply to persons

(1) (2)

Convicted of offense punishable with death penalty or life imprisonment Whose maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed one

year

(3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)

Convicted of treason, conspiracy or proposal to commit treason, misprision of treason Convicted of rebellion, sedition, espionage, Convicted of piracy Who are habitual delinquents

Who escaped confinement OR evaded sentence OR violated the terms of a conditional pardon Persons already sentenced by final judgment at the time this Act was approved (Dec. 5, 1933)

C. Rules for Application RECALL distinctions: (1) Penalty PRESCRIBED (by RPC or special law) (2) Penalty IMPOSABLE (after taking circumstances into account) (3) Penalty IMPOSED (after applying all rules under RPC and the Indeterminate Sentence Law)

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If offense is punished by the RPC MAXIMUM term: maximum penalty imposable after taking attending circumstances into account MINIMUM term: range of penalty next lower to penalty prescribed Formula for easy reference: OffenseRPC = Min (next lower to prescribed) to Max (imposable) OffenseSPECIAL = Min (at least that prescribed) to Max (not exceed prescribed) 1. Procedure when the crime is punished by the RPC If offense is punished by a special law MAXIMUM term: shall not exceed the maximum term prescribed by the special law MINIMUM term: shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by the special law

(1) Derive MAXIMUM term imposable by applying rules for


aggravating (AC) and ordinary mitigating circumstances (MC) under Art. 64 and for complex crimes under Art. 48.

1) No AC or MC: Penalty PRESCRIBEDMEDIUM period 2) 1 AC, no MC: Penalty PRESCRIBEDMAXIMUM period 3) No AC, 1 MC: Penalty PRESCRIBEDMINIMUM period
4) Several ACs and MCs: OFFSET then apply rules to remainder 5) No AC, 2 or more MCs: Penalty NEXT LOWER IN DEGREE TO THAT PRESCRIBED

6) If COMPLEX CRIME (2 or more grave or less grave felonies OR


one offense is a necessary means for committing the other): Penalty for the MOST SERIOUS CRIMEMAXIMUM PERIOD

(2) Derive MINIMUM term by getting the penalty one degree lower
than the penalty prescribed by the RPC, without regard to its three periods. The court has discretion to fix as the minimum term any period of imprisonment within that penalty next lower to the penalty prescribed. EXCEPTION: WHEN THERE IS A PRIVILEGED MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE, do NOT follow the aforementioned rule. Consider the privileged mitigating circumstance FIRST before any AC or MC to get the PENALTY PRESCRIBED and then proceed as required by the rule on deriving the minimum term. Otherwise, the maximum of the IS Law will end up being lower than the minimum of the IS Law.

To illustrate, note the following comparisons: CRIME, circumstances, and penalty prescribed 1. Homicide (Art. 249): reclusion temporal 2. Committed by a person 9-15 years old with discernment (Art. 68 mandates that the penalty to be imposed should be two degrees lower than the penalty prescribed) 3. No other mitigating or aggravating circumstance Following the regular procedure for deriving the minimum and maximum term 1. Penalty prescribed: reclusion temporal 2. For MAXIMUM term: Ordinarily, reclusion temporal medium. However: given the privileged mitigating circumstance, the penalty 2 degrees lower is prision correccional 3. For MINIMUM term: prision mayor medium 4. The absurd result of the application: The penalty IMPOSABLE is within the Maximum term of PRISION CORRECCIONAL and the Minimum term of PRISION MAYOR MEDIUM. Applying the Exception with respect to the minimum term

1. Penalty prescribed:
reclusion temporal

2. For MAXIMUM term,


take the privileged mitigating circumstance into account: prision correccional For MINIMUM term, get the NEW penalty prescribed first by applying the privileged mitigating circumstance (prision correctional medium). Then get the penalty one degree lower from the NEW penalty prescribed: arresto mayor medium

3.

The penalty IMPOSABLE is within the Maximum term of PRISION CORRECCIONAL and the Minimum term of ARRESTO MAYOR MEDIUM. NOTE: this solution is permitted because the ISLAW is predicated on ordinary mitigating and generic aggravating circumstances only.

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(3) Some sample solutions for different permutations under Art. 64 and 48 Table 1: CRIME, circumstances, and penalty prescribed 1. Homicide (Art. 249): reclusion temporal 2. No MC or AC Application of the IS Law

1. Maximum term: reclusion temporal


medium

2. Minimum term: prision mayor

Table 2: CRIME, circumstances, and penalty prescribed 1. Homicide (Art. 249): reclusion temporal 2. Mitigating circumstance of plea of guilt, No AC Table 3: CRIME, circumstances, and penalty prescribed 1. Homicide (Art. 249): reclusion temporal 2. Aggravating circumstance of recidivism, No MC

Application of the IS Law

1. 2.

Maximum term: reclusion temporal minimum Minimum term: prision mayor

Application of the IS Law

1. Maximum term: 2.

reclusion temporal maximum Minimum term: prision mayor

Table 4: CRIME, circumstances, and penalty prescribed 1. Homicide (Art. 249): reclusion temporal 2. Aggravating circumstance of nighttime 3. Mitigating circumstances of voluntary surrender and plea of guilt 4. OFFSETTING the MCs with the AC would yield one MC Table 5: CRIME, circumstances, and penalty prescribed 1. Complex crime of frustrated homicide with assault upon an agent of a person in authority (Arts. 249, 6, 148, and 48) Penalty for frustrated homicide: (one degree lower from reclusion temporal) prision mayor

Application of the IS Law

FOLLOW TABLE 2 PROCEDURE

Application of the IS Law

1. Maximum
maximum

term:

prision

mayor

2. Minimum term: prision correctional

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Penalty for assault: prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods Penalty for the complex crime: PRISION MAYOR (penalty for the graver offense) 2. No MCs or Acs 2. Procedure when the crime is punished by a special law (1) MAXIMUM TERM: Court may fix any as long as it does not exceed the penalty prescribed by the special law

(2) MINIMUM TERM: Court has discretion so long as it does not exceed the
minimum prescribed by the special law (3) Example: for the crime of illegal possession of firearms, not used for rebellion or sedition, the IS Law range is anywhere between 1-5 years. D. Institutions involved 1. BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLE

(1) Composition: Secretary of Justice (Chairman) and 4 members to


be appointed by the President (with the consent of the Commission on Appointments) under 6 year terms. Board members should include a trained sociologist, clergyman/educator, psychiatrist. At least one member should be a woman.

(2) Compensation: 50 pesos for each meeting actually attended


and reimbursement for actual and necessary traveling expenses incurred. Maximum of 3 board meetings per week. (3) Powers and functions 1) Authorized to adopt rules and regulations necessary to carry out its functions 2) Can call upon any bureau, office, branch, subdivision, agency, or Government instrumentality for assistance in the performance of its functions 3) Decisions will be arrived at by MAJORITY VOTE. A quorum will be constituted by a MAJORITY. Dissent from the majority opinion will be reduced to writing and filed with the records of the proceedings. 2. BOARD OF INDETERMINATE SENTENCE (1) Powers and functions

1) Look into the physical, mental, and moral record of the prisoners who shall be eligible for parole to determine proper time of release of such prisoners

2) When a prisoner has served the minimum penalty


imposed, the Board may authorize release of the prisoner on parole: a) Based on reports of the prisoners work and conduct, it is shown that the prisoner is fitted by his training for release b) There is a reasonable probability that such prisoner will live and remain at liberty without violating the law c) Release will not be incompatible with the welfare of society (2) Procedure for release of prisoner

1) Board must file with the court which passed judgment on the
case and with the PNP Chief a certified copy of each order of conditional or final release and discharge. 2) Prisoner released may be designated specific conditions as to his parole, and required to report personally to such government officials or other parole officers appointed by the Board for a period of SURVEILLANCE equivalent to the remaining portion of the maximum sentence imposed upon him OR until final release and discharge by the Board. 3) Designated parole officers shall keep records and reports required by the Board. 4) Board may fix the limits on the residence of the paroled prisoner or change it from time to time. If during the period of surveillance the prisoner shows himself to be a lawabiding citizen and shall NOT violate any laws, the Board may issue a final certificate of release and discharge. 5) If prisoner violates any of the conditions of his parole, the Board may issue an order for re-arrest of the prisoner. The prisoner re-arrested shall serve the remaining unexpired portion of the maximum sentence for which he was originally committed to prison, unless the Board grants him new parole.