Death Penalty

ART. 47

Death Penalty Not Imposed In The Following Cases:

1. under age - when the offender is under 18 yrs of age at the time of commission. Why? - Because minority is always a mitigating circumstance
2. over age - when the person is more than 70 years old at time RTC sentenced him
3. no court majority - when upon appeal or automatic review of the case by the SC, the vote of eight members is not obtained for the imposition of death.

JUSTIFICATION FOR THE DEATH PENALTY: social defense and exemplarity. Not considered cruel and unusual because it does not involve torture or lingering death.

CRIMES PUNISHABLE BY DEATH UNDER THE DEATH PENALTY LAW (RA 7659)
1. Treason
2. Qualified Piracy
3. Qualified Bribery
4. Parricide
5. Murder
6. Infanticide
7. Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention
8. Robbery – with Homicide, Rape, Intentional Mutilation, or Arson
9. Rape – with the use of a deadly weapon, or by two or more persons
   - where the victim became insane
   - with Homicide
10. Qualified Rape
11. Destructive Arson
12. Plunder
13. Violation of certain provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Act
14. Carnapping

RA 9346 or “An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines”
- expressly repealed RA 8177 or “Act Designating Death by Lethal Injection” and RA 7659 or “Death Penalty Law”.

RA 9346 repealed all the other laws imposing death penalty.
- Section 2 states that: “In lieu of the death penalty, the following shall be imposed:
a. the penalty of reclusion perpetua, when the law violated makes use of the nomenclature of the
penalties of the Revised Penal Code; or
b. the penalty of life imprisonment, when the law violated does not make use of the nomenclature of
the penalties of the Revised Penal Code.”


Bar Exam Question 2004 (Death Penalty)

A. The death penalty cannot be inflicted under which of the following circumstances:
1) When the guilty person is at least 18 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime.
2) When the guilty person is more than 70 years of age.
3) When upon appeal to or automatic review by the Supreme Court, the required majority for the imposition of the death penalty is not obtained.
4) When the person is convicted of a capital crime but before execution becomes insane.
5) When the accused is a woman while she is pregnant or within one year after delivery. Explain your answer or choice briefly. (5%)

A. Understanding the word "inflicted" to mean the imposition of the death penalty, not its execution, the circumstance in which the death penalty cannot be inflicted is no. 2: "when the guilty person is more than 70 years of age" (Art. 47, Revised Penal Code). Instead, the penalty shall be commuted to reclusion perpetua, with the accessory penalties provided in Article 40, RFC.

In circumstance no. 1 when the guilty person is at least 18 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime, the death penalty can be imposed since the offender is already of legal age when he committed the crime.

Circumstance no. 3 no longer operates, considering the decision of the Supreme Court in People vs. Efren Mateo (G.R. 147678-87, July 7, 2004) providing an intermediate review for such cases where the penalty imposed is death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment before they are elevated to the Supreme Court.

In circumstances nos. 4 & 5, the death penalty can be imposed if prescribed by the law violated although its execution shall be suspended when the convict becomes insane before it could be executed and while he is insane.

Likewise, the death penalty can be imposed upon a woman but its execution shall be suspended during her pregnancy and for one year after her delivery.

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:

The word "INFLICTED" is found only in Art. 83 to the effect that the death penalty may not be "INFLICTED" upon a pregnant woman, such penalty is to be suspended. If "INFLICTED" is to be construed as "EXECUTION", then No. 5 is the choice.