No Rest for the Wicked

With Austrian law still lenient towards violent crimes, the government is determining new measures on Feb 13, raising penalties on offenses such as rape, domestic violence and stalking.

The newly developed approach by the Task Force Criminal Law, led by Secretary of State Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP) will be presented to the Council of Ministers, indicating the need to redefine minimum and conditional sentences; Austrian law permits conditional and unconditional punishments which allow first time offenders to skip jail time and head straight to parole. Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) commented on the matter, saying “when minor white-collar crime is punished more harshly in Austria than violence against women and children, which often results in lifelong psychological and physical damage, then something is very wrong. We now seek to correct that.”
Consequently, alterations to the existing laws are expected to be implemented as early as this year, removing parole without jail time, raising sentences to one to ten years, and toughening the persecution of offences like stalking and privacy invasion.

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