2016 (Criminal Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 1

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Criminal Law Instructions; 2016 Mercantile Law questions: 2345678910111213141516171819 and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

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Explain the application ofthe Indeterminate Sentence Law (ISL). (5%)

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  1. BAR EXAM QUESTION NO.1(2016 CRIMINAL LAW)

    Explain the application of the Indeterminate Sentence Law (ISL). (5%)

    SUGGESTED ANSWER:

    APPLICATION OF INDETERMINATE SENTENCE LAW EXPLAINED

    In the case of People vs. Gabres , the Court has had occasion to so state that-

    “Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law”, the maximum term of the penalty shall be that which, in view of the attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the Revised Penal Code, and the minimum shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed for the offense. The penalty next lower should be based on the penalty prescribed by the Code for the offense,without first considering any modifying circumstance attendant to the commission of the crime.

    The determination of the minimum penalty is left by law to the sound discretion of the court and it can be anywhere within the range of the penalty next lower without any reference to the periods into which it might be subdivided. The modifying circumstances are considered only in the imposition of the maximum term of the indeterminate sentence.”The fact that the amounts involved in the instant case exceed P22,000.00 should not be considered in the initial determination of the indeterminate penalty; instead, the matter should be so taken as analogous to modifying circumstances in the imposition of the maximum term of the full indeterminate sentence.This interpretation of the law accords with the rule that penal laws should be construed in favor of the accused. Since the penalty prescribed by law for the estafa charge against accused-appellant is prision correccional maximum to prision mayor, minimum, the penalty next lower would then be prision correccional minimum to medium .Thus, the minimum term of the indeterminate sentence should be anywhere within six (6) months and one (1) day to four (4) years and two (2) months . . .”(People v. Saley; GR 121179, July 2, ’98)

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