Background: Gramatian Criminal Law

Traditionally Gramatian distinguish between two types of crimes: crimes against individual and crimes against the community. The traditional punishment for the former category is the payment of weregeld to the victim, or in case of murder to the victim’s family (100 cows for killing a woman, 50 cows a man). In contrast the traditional penalty for the latter category is banishment (varying from a few years to life).

Over the course of time banishment has been replaced with imprisonment with hard labor, though banishment is still available and such sentences continues to be handed down. Hard labor has also been introduced for those convicted offenders who refuse to pay weregeld.

The death penalty is never been introduced throughout the country’s history, not in the last place because the widespread religious belief that only god himself may take a human life. Nevertheless, Gramatian law knows something as the “civil death”, a sentence which declares a person legally death without actually killing him.

Gramatian criminal law has several remarkable features. For instance, prostitution has never been illegal as such but it is illegal for married women to work as a prostitute. Another issue is that the law does not acknowledge the rape of males by female offenders. And with the exception of heroine, the use, possession, production and trade of drugs is not prohibited.

Sentencing is subject to a complicated mathematical formula. In case of multiple crimes the total sentence is based upon the sum of the sentences the individual crimes. The sentence for each crime is based upon the maximum punishment for said crime with the subtraction of mitigating factors.

Criminal court proceeding mainly follow the adversarial system, in particular in case of crimes against individuals. There are no juries and cases are usually heard by a panel of three or five judges. Both prosecutors and defendants may call a virtually unlimited number of witnesses and all evidence has to be shown in court.

Clemency is a prerogative of the emperor, who grants requests after consultation of legal scholars and other relevant experts. There is no appeal to a decision to refuse or grant a request of clemency.

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3 responses

  1. 100 cows. That sounds fair.

    1. It’s the maximum penalty, which can be lower if there are mitigating circumstances.

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