Joran Van der Sloot Trial Postponed Pending Decision on Confession

Joran Van der Sloot didn't plead guilty today. He had intended to plead guilty, making a "sincere confession" which would allow the judge, if he accepted it, to sentence him to 1/3 below the minimum penalty for "qualified murder". He's also charged with simple theft/robbery, which carries 3 years. From my earlier post on the Peruvian statutes available here (using Google translator):

Article 161. Effect of sincere confession confession .- If, additionally, is sincere and spontaneous....the court, specifying reasons make it necessary, may reduce the penalty to prudently in a third below the legal minimum.

But after the prosecutor laid out the facts, there were some Joran disagreed with, so he asked for more time to consider his plea. The judge postponed proceedings until Wednesday, Jan. 12. [More....]

The maximum penalty for Qualified Murder is 30 years. The charges were set by the Judge in November when it accepted the Prosecutor's charges and rejected the request by the family of Stephany Flores to increase the murder charge to one carrying a life sentence. He's also charged with simple theft/robbery.

As to the statutes:

Article 185 .- Simple Theft, Article amended by paragraph 1 of Article 29 of Legislative Decree No. 1084, issued on June 28, 2008, which reads as follows:

"Whoever, for profit, unlawfully seized movable property, in whole or in part outside, removing it from the place where found, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one nor more than three years. They are comparable to movable electric power, gas, water and energy or any other item that has economic value as well as the electromagnetic spectrum and to fishery resources allocation mechanism of maximum catch per boat. "

As to the Qualified Murder charge:

Article 108 .- Homicidio Calificado - Asesinato - Article amended by Article 1 of Law No. 28,878, published on August 17, 2006:

Shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than fifteen years to kill another meet any of the following circumstances:

1. For ferocity, for profit or pleasure;
2. To facilitate or conceal another crime;
3. With great cruelty or premeditation;
4. For fire, explosion, poison or any other medium capable of endangering the life or health of others;
5. If the victim is a member of the National Police of Peru or of the Armed Forces, Head of the Judiciary or the Public Ministry, in carrying out their duties."

Peru also has a charge of Homicide by Violent Emotion and Simple Murder but Joran isn't charged with those:

Article 109 .- homicide violent emotion

He who kills another under the influence of violent emotion that circumstances make it excusable, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than three nor more than five years.


Article 106 .- Simple Murder

He who kills another shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than six nor more than twenty years.

In March, 2011, Joran's lawyer indicated he would try to have Joran plead to Homicide by Violent Emotion, but I guess that didn't work out.

Peru's Constitution does provide for the presumption of innocence:

Chapter I Fundamental Rights of the Individual

Article 2 Every individual has the right:

...24. to personal freedom and security.


...e) Every person is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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    Peru didn't have him in mind (none / 0) (#1)
    by diogenes on Sat Jan 07, 2012 at 09:41:53 PM EST
    "He had intended to plead guilty, making a "sincere confession" which would allow the judge, if he accepted it, to sentence him to 1/3 below the minimum penalty."

    I think that the concept of a "sincere confession" somehow implies some degree of remorse.  Psychopaths are wonderful at being glib and charming while lacking remorse.  Somehow I don't think that the people who came up with the "sincere confession" rule had them in mind.

    why not look it up (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jan 07, 2012 at 10:13:16 PM EST
    Rather than spread your unsupported assumption?

    The statute is Section 136, amended by Article 1 inc. b) Law No. 28 760, published on June 14, 2006.  It excludes only kidnapping and extortion. It was clearly meant to apply to murder. There's no time limit.

    There may be a problem with respect to whether Joran has given inconsistent confessions, but others have overcome that. There is clearly nothing to indicate that a non-Peruvian who kills a Peruvian was intended to be excluded from making and receiving the benefit of a sincere confession.

    As this Peruvian lawyer argues, if Fujimori got a reduction for sincere confession 7 years after the fact, so should Joran.