It is not only the severity of an offence that is taken into account during sentencing. Judges remember that criminals are human beings too‚ so their personal circumstances are taken into account.
Public interest is also weighed. Here‚ Law For All explains how prison sentences are determined in South Africa.
We often celebrate or‚ at times‚ are outraged by the sentences given to offenders for their crimes. As a public‚ we’re either satisfied that the punishment fits the crime‚ or convinced that justice has failed us. However‚ how jail time is determined in South Africa depends on various factors.
Last month‚ convicted “axe murderer” Henri van Breda was found guilty of murdering his parents and brother‚ and the attempted murder of his sister‚ in a trial that made headlines around the world. Van Breda was also charged with one count of obstructing justice for staging the crime scene and inflicting wounds on himself to make it look like he had been a victim in the attack.