The punishment handed down for murdering someone in Denmark is far too lenient, contend the majority of Danes.
According to a new survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Metroxpress newspaper, 70 percent of those queried said that the 12 years handed down for murder convictions is too little.
Thomas Søbirk Petersen, a professor of ethics at Roskilde University, said that a thirst for vengeance is a driver for wanting a stiffer punishment.
“There are strong emotions at play. But I’m pleased we have a justice system where vengeance is not the only measurement for punishment,” Petersen told Metroxpress.
Trine Baumbach, an associate professor in criminal justice at the University of Copenhagen, contended that more stringent punishments would have a preventative effect.
She also underlined there is still wiggle room for a stiffer punishment to be handed down, such as in cases that are particularly vicious – for example, involving the murder of more than one person or a child.
“You could change the practice and say that an average murder sentence should be 14 years. The problem is that there would be a smaller margin – because what if more than one person was killed? Our punishment system is built on trying to take into account all the possible situations – even those that are unthinkable,” Baumbach told Metroxpress.