Legal

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Firearms laws and legal information.

Should the Death Penalty be Restored?

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For the past 40 years our government has flip-flopped in abolishing and re-imposing the death penalty. The heinious crime of the gang rape of Maggie De la Riva in the late 60's brought back interest in the effectiveness of the electric chair as deterence against the commission of henious crimes. Are there truly human beings who really do not deserve to live? And how effective and infalliable is our criminal justice system that innocent people may be executed by mistake? A conviction in a criminal case requires proof beyond reasonable doubt. This does not mean absolute certainty. Rather all that is required is a MORAL CERTAINTY that the person is guilty. In practice, judges being human beings, mistakes can be made. That is why we have the two step appeal process to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court to review possible errors in judgment in the lower courts.

No Illegal Possession of Firearms charge for Violation of Comelec Gun ban

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Everyone should be aware of the recent case of IGMIDIO MADRIGAL vs. People of the Philippines, 13 August 2008 (read it here:http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/decisions/index.php).

In that case, Madrigal was caught with a .38 revolver during the Comelec Gun Ban. He was charged with both illegal possession of firearms and violation of the Comelec Gun Ban. After trial, he was convicted of both offenses. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction. Madrigal then appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ACQUITTED him of the charge of Illegal possession of firearms since section 1 of PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294 stated that a person could only be charged with illegal possession of firearms PROVIDED THAT NO OTHER CRIME WAS COMMITTED. Consequently, since Madrigal had also simultaneously committed a violation of the Comelec Gun Ban (Omnibus Election Code), then he could not anymore be charged with illegal possession of firearms under PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294. So the penalty imposed upon Madrigal was only for violation of the gun ban which was only 1-3 years imprisonment.

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