Mercenariness


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Mercenariness

 

(koryst’) a concept in Soviet criminal law.

Soviet criminal law views any mercenary motive in the com-mission of a crime as a factor aggravating responsibility. Material incentive, greed, cupidity, and other vile motives under-line the immorality of crime and are evidence of the special danger of the guilty party. Mercenariness is a necessary aspect of certain types of crime (for example, counterfeiting, embezzlement, and speculation, including speculation in foreign currencies and securities). For certain crimes, mercenariness emerges as a possible qualifying attribute; that is, such crimes may be committed both for mercenary and other motives (for example, murder is considered to have been committed under aggravating circumstances if such factors as mercenary motives, hooligan motives, or particular cruelty were involved). In all other cases, when the law does not specifically refer to this motive, committing a crime for mercenary motives is a factor aggravating the responsibility of the guilty party (see, for example, art. 39 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR).