Releasing terrorists in a future round of talks with the Palestinians may be more difficult if the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approves a bill allowing courts to sentence murderers to life in prison without parole, which will be put to a vote on Sunday.
The proposal allows the courts to use the heavy sentence, which blocks the president’s ability to pardon criminals in special cases like terrorist attacks, murder with nationalist motivations, or murder of children.
The legislation is an amendment to Basic Law: The Presidency, which currently says the president may pardon any criminal. If the change is becomes law, it will allow judges to use their discretion on whether a murder is a “special case” or not, meaning there is a possibility that law may never be put to use even if it is passed.
The bill was proposed by Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked and MK David Tsur (Hatnua) and co-sponsored by coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu), MKs Robert Ilatov (Likud Beytenu), Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi), Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Bayit Yehudi), Motti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) and Yisrael Hasson (Kadima).
“This way, someone who killed many people won’t be freed,” Shaked said of the legislation in an interview with The Jerusalem Post last month.
The Bayit Yehudi MK explained that the bill “won’t apply to those in prison now, but we’re looking to the future.”