Editorial: Irrational law, inhuman punishment
It is time for the state to wake up and adjust the antiquated and leveling law to contemporary realities, and for the judiciary to impose punishment that is analogous to the crime.
The case has justly provoked the surprise and rage of public opinion. A Larisa appellate court sentenced a cleaning lady to a 10-year prison term because in order to land a job she forged a certificate stating that she had finished a six-year primary school (she had completed fifth grade), as the requirements for the job stipulated.
It is self-evident that the punishment imposed is in no way analogous to the offence of the cleaning lady, who has worked normally at her job for many years.
The inhuman sentence is due to an antiquated law regarding the embezzlement of public funds, which provides for a prison sentence from 10 years to life! The court in her case did not accept the obvious, commuting the charge taking into account the facts of the case. It is plainly clear that she did not attempt to abuse public funds. She tried to make a living by working normally and not embezzling money.
It is indicative of the imbecility of the judiciary that the President of the Council of State, Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou took to the social media to state, “A ten-year sentence for a cleaning lady with a forged primary school certificate…5-15 years for the murder of a young American on [the island of] Zakythos. I do not want to comment. I am simply puzzled…”
Supreme Court Prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou also stepped into the case and requested the court file in order to review it and examine the possibility of overturning the conviction.
Albeit after the fact, it seems that this irrational punishment sensitized both the judiciary and society, because this case is not the only one in which an incredible punishment was imposed based on the same law, after hundred of forged certificates used for being hired in the public sector were discovered.
Not everyone is judged with same criteria. It is time for the state to wake up and adjust the antiquated and leveling law to contemporary realities, and for the judiciary to impose punishment that is analogous to the crime.
Let us hope that the painful adventure of this unfortunate woman will be occasion for the competent authorities to take a second look at the irrationality of certain laws and at the repeated injustices committed in meting out justice.
It is time at long last to halt the perpetual sense in society of injustice as regards the distinctions in the way justice is delivered to the powerful and the outcasts of society.