The Minister for Justice, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, on Friday justified his first reform of the Penal Code.
The changes are designed to bring the code into the 21st century, and that means toughing up on many crimes which cause social alarm.
He gave the details after the Friday cabinet meeting.
Spain’s Penal Code is one of the most severe in Europe with sentences of up to 40 years.
The sentence of reversible life imprisonment is extended to aggravated cases.
It’s similar to life imprisonment with the difference that if the inmate can show that he or she is
reinserted into society he or she could be released at a later date.
Another new measure is being called ‘Security Custody’.
This is not a penalty, but it could lead to an inmate having to remain in jail for 10 years past the end of his sentence.
It will be used where special danger is considered.
It would be revoked when that danger is considered to be gone.
Candidates for this would be assassins, kidnappers, sexual crimes, violent crimes and drug traffickers.
The document also includes probation, approved by the previous Socialist Government in 2010 for terrorist and sexual crimes.
Now it has been extended to other crimes such as property crimes, robbery and violent crimes resulting in injury.
There has been some criticism of the Ruiz-Gallardón legislation with the spokesman from the Judges for Democracy Association, Joaquim Bosch, and María Moretó from the Union
of Progressive Prosecutors saying the legislation is ‘Populist, punishes the unfortunate and social protest’.
They think it may be unconstitutional.