JIFA Newsflash #2/18   14 February 2018
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Namibian Supreme Court outlaws ultra-long prison sentences
IN an important new decision, Namibia’s highest court has held that judges in that country may not impose jail terms that are “longer than a life sentence”. Prisoners serving life may be considered for possible parole after 25 years, and the Supreme Court has now held that any sentence in which parole is not at least notionally possible after 25 years, would be unconstitutional. The court was dealing with an appeal in which a trial court had imposed sentences of well over 60 years. Some judges imposed ultra-long sentences as a way of ensuring that a prisoner never became eligible for parole, said the court, but it was unacceptable to impose any sentence that was “in effect far more severe than (a) life sentence”.
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