Justice Ministry calls to reintroduce consecutive sentencing in Georgia

Georgia’s Ministry of Justice has initiative to return consecutive sentencing in a Georgia’s criminal procedure code.
Agenda.ge, 02 Jul 2014 - 19:13, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Ministry of Justice is planning to bring consecutive sentencing back into Georgia’s Criminal Procedure Code and Criminal Code.

Consecutive sentencing means a person, who has been convicted on several counts, would serve their sentences one after the other, not concurrently – at the same time.

A draft already exist but has not been offered to Parliament to discuss, a Justice Ministry representative said.

This method of serving sentences is different from concurrent sentencing – in which multiple sentences are combined into a single period, where the longest sentence is how long the defendant must spend in prison.

The Ministry of Justice emphasized current laws stated it was also the judge’s responsibility to halve the sentence for offenders – other than from grave offences – and take into account mitigating circumstances and a defendant’s record.

The Ministry representative said changes were needed within the court practice.

Georgian lawyers said reintroducing consecutive sentencing needed to be justified.

In 2013, after Georgian Dream coalition came into power, the political group cancelled consecutive sentencing, and said it was one of the reasons why Georgia had such a high prison population.