Should a false witness be punished more when the framed person is sentenced to longer than normal?

Discussion in 'Law & Justice' started by kazenatsu, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2017
    Messages:
    4,925
    Likes Received:
    1,338
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Suppose a false witness blames someone for a crime they did not commit.
    The judge in this particular case decides to sentence the person to twice as long as people normally get sentenced to for committing that type of crime, with similar circumstances.

    Question: Should the false witness get punished more because the judge decided to sentence the other person to a longer prison sentence?

    Suppose they don't find out the witness was lying until after the innocent person has already served the majority of their sentence.

    This is kind of an interesting ethical dilemma question, which I hope will spark a lively debate.
    We all agree that the false witness should be punished for getting an innocent person sent to prison. But can they also be held responsible for the judge's discretionary decision unduly sentencing the innocent person to longer than normal?

    I see getting into some murky ethical issues when laying all the blame on one person from something that also resulted from the decision of another.

    Should the punishment for the false witness all be based on how long the judge sentences the innocent defendant to, rather than what the alleged crime actually is?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  2. Margot2

    Margot2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    64,134
    Likes Received:
    9,645
    Trophy Points:
    113
    False accusations in Islam are very, very serious. The liar may get the penalty the accused would have gotten.
     
  3. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2017
    Messages:
    4,925
    Likes Received:
    1,338
    Trophy Points:
    113
    But what does "would have gotten" mean exactly? Different people end up getting different sentences for the same crime, that's just how it ends up working out in reality. Sometimes one judge may feel like being merciful, another judge may feel like giving the maximum possible punishment because they looked at him the wrong way in the courtroom.

    The liar might not have exact control over exactly how long they are sentenced, it could be something rather unexpected.

    Maybe the judge wasn't really using the best proper reasoning when deciding the sentence. More punishment for the liar because of the whim of an errant judge in the other case?

    Another variation of this same dilemma could be one of bail. One defendant may not be able to afford bail, so will wait a long time behind bars waiting for his trial, while another defendant can afford the bail. Suppose 9 months go by, and they finally figure out the witness was lying. Should the punishment be affected by whether the innocent defendant was able to afford bail?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018

Share This Page