Early Release


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Early Release

 

a release from serving punishment before the expiration of the term set by the court judgment. In the USSR early release is used only in instances directly envisioned by law. The criminal law and criminal procedure provide for several forms of early release: conditional early release (parole), conditional release for work on the construction of economic enterprises, and early release because of illness. The early release is carried out only by a court in the manner prescribed by law. A distinction is made between early release and release from serving punishment because the term has been reduced by a ruling (decree) of an appellate or supervisory court or through amnesty or pardon.

A conditional early release means that a convicted person is released from serving punishment earlier than the term set by the court. However, if he commits another deliberate crime during the unserved part of the punishment, a new punishment is assigned, and part or all of the unserved term of the punishment for the former crime is added to it. Conditional early release is envisioned by the Basic Principles of Criminal Legislation of the USSR and the Union Republics (arts. 44, 45) and the criminal codes of the Union republics. It is permitted with respect to such forms of punishment as deprivation of freedom, exile, banishment, corrective labor without deprivation of freedom, and assignment to a disciplinary battalion if the convicted person has proved his correction by his exemplary behavior and conscientious attitude toward labor or instruction. The conditional early release may be used only after the convicted person has served at least half or two-thirds of the term of punishment, depending on the crime for which he was convicted. Conditional early release for persons who have committed a crime before reaching the age of 18 is permitted after they have served at least one-third of their punishment.

The law provides for replacing the unserved part of the punishment by milder punishment, observing the same rules applied in the conditional early release, for example, the unserved part of a punishment involving deprivation of freedom is replaced by corrective labor without deprivation of freedom.

Conditional early release and the replacement of the unserved part of the punishment by a milder punishment may not be applied to particularly dangerous recidivists; persons who had reached the age of 18 when the crime was committed if they had previously been sentenced to deprivation of freedom for a deliberate crime; persons given conditional early releases who before the expiration of the unserved part of the punishment committed a new, deliberate crime for which they were sentenced to deprivation of freedom; and persons convicted of especially dangerous crimes against the state, banditry, actions that disrupt the work of corrective labor institutions, producing counterfeit money under aggravating circumstances, and other especially grave crimes.

To establish the most favorable conditions for socially useful labor and the correct behavior of the person who has been granted a conditional early release, the court may assign a particular collective of workers, with its consent, to supervise the conditionally released person.

The conditional release of persons sentenced to deprivation of freedom and their assignment to the construction of economic enterprises is a new type of early release that was instituted by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on Mar. 20, 1964. It is applied only to able-bodied persons who have been sentenced to deprivation of freedom for the first time and who meet the requirements of the law on conditional early release. The persons conditionally released are sent to construction sites where they live as free men but are supervised by internal affairs agencies. In cases of exemplary behavior and a conscientious attitude toward labor, the restrictions related to the conditional release may be removed before the expiration of the term. By contrast, persons who leave the construction site without authorization or who maliciously disrupt public order and labor discipline may, by a court decision, be returned to custody to continue serving the punishment assigned earlier.

Early release because of illness is regulated by the law of criminal procedure. Such a release is administered by a court upon the proposal by the administration of the agency in charge of executing the punishment and is based on the findings of a medical commission. In deciding this question the court must take into account whether release of the convicted person who is ill will present a danger to society. When releasing a person from serving punishment, the court has the right to apply compulsory medical measures or to transfer the person being released to the care of public health agencies.

N. A. STRUCHKOV

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