The Bosnian War was an international arms conflict that involved 2 main sides, the Republika Srpska, and Herzeg-Bosnia. The Republika Srpska would show very little sympathy towards the Non-Serb population of cities they would occupy. 1995 of the Bosnian War reached its most violent climax, Bosnian Serb Forces in occupied Srebrenica began an ethnic cleansing of the Non-Serb population, and massacred more than 8000 people.
Many generals and other people of high class within the Republika Srpska were tried for their actions, but none confessed and denied everything, this is what makes the following person so significant.Dragan Obrenovic, who was the only person who admit guilt for the Genocide and it taking place. The accused, Dragan Obrenovic was being tried under the Statute Of The International Criminal Tribunal For The Former Yugoslavia, he was charged with charged with 5 counts under the Statute, Complicity In Genocide, Exterminations, Murder on 2 accounts as a violation of war a Crime Against Humanity, and Persecutions on Political and Racial Grounds. Dragan Obrenovic expressed what the courts believed to be a sincere remorse, and the Tribunal took into account his mitigating and aggravating factors, and gave him a measly sentence of 17 years.
Genocide is the mass extermination of a group of people, you are annihilating a group of individuals at once, it goes beyond murder and it is an unforgivable crime, Obrenovic was therefore given an unworthy and incomparable sentence. Remorse is usually defined as a feeling of deep regret, a feeling for wrong doing for sinning. The Defense asserts that Dragan Obrenovic is “his own worst judge. He knows the impact of his failure more than anyone. He has already sentenced himself. He is like Lady Macbeth, sentenced forever to the Sisyphean task of constantly washing her hands in a futile attempt to erase an indelible stain. ( pg. 36- 37 of Sentencing Judgment Document) However, how does the Defence know that Obrenovic isn’t just good with words and actually just an evil and really conniving person? “Through his statements and his actions, the Trial Chamber finds that Dragan Obrenovic is genuinely remorseful for his role in the crimes for which he has been convicted, and seeks to atone for his criminal conduct.
Therefore, the Trial considers Dragan Obrenovic’s remorse to be a substantial mitigating factor in his case. ” (pg. 7 of Sentencing Judgment Document) It seems as though they treat Dragan Obrenovic like any other criminal that would just have to show he’s sorry and then get off the hook that easy. However even murderers don’t get chances to express their remorse properly, in some democratic nations they are even given the death penalty, it doesn’t seem logical to consider Obrenovics remorse a mitigating factor if he is trying to kill over 8000 people, it is like asking a Nazi to say sorry in turn for a lighter sentence, he just doesn’t deserve it.Someone like Obrenovic, could just as easily have set this whole thing up for a smaller sentence, for someone planning the death of 8000 people what is lying about his remorse going to be so hard about? If murder can get you the death sentence in the United States, or at least life anywhere else, for trying to wipe out an existing people, an existing way of life, should you consider the perpetrators remorse?No because the 8000 murdered didn’t have a voice in deciding their lives, why should Obrenovic be given the chance to? In the end, when they were deciding Obrenovic’s sentence, his remorse was a really important mitigating factor. www.
courts. state. va. us, defines a mitigating factor as “A fact or circumstance associated with a criminal act that, while not an excuse or justification, may reduce its severity and result in a lesser sentence. So basically a mitigating factor is supposed to reduce the severity and result in a lesser sentence. This certainly happened with Dragan Obrenovic’s trial. But why do the expectations for mitigating circumstances remain the same for crimes like Genocide, if a mitigating circumstance is defined to reduce the severity well Genocide is so sickening you cannot possibly reduce the severity doesn’t matter how many mitigating circumstances you can think of Genocide is the most despicable act that can committed these days.
Dragan Obrenovic’s remorse should not have been considered an important mitigating factor, Genocide is despicable and evil and there is no excuse for plotting the death and annihilation of an entire group of people, no matter how remorseful you are, it should have been excluded from deciding the sentence. The individual circumstances related to Dragan Obrenovic are mainly his aggravating and mitigating circumstances. In this trial his mitigating circumstances outweigh his aggravating circumstances. His 3 main aggravating circumstances were A. The position of leadership of Dragan Obrenovic, B. The ole of Obrenovic as deputy commander, and C. The vulnerability of the victims and depravity of the crimes. His main mitigating circumstances were A.
Guilty Plea and Acceptance of Responsibility, B. Remorse, C. Cooperation with the Porsecution, D. Character of the Accused , E. No opportunity of volunteer surrender, and F. Personal Circumstances. Aggravating circumstances are reasons why someone should be given a harsher penalty for a crime, in this situation mitigating circumstances outweigh the aggravating circumstances and judges took this into consideration when giving him his 17 year sentence.For part A of aggravating circumstances, the Prosecution argued that as Deputy Commander, Dragan Obrenovic participated in authorizing, organizing and implementing the plan to execute over 6000 muslim boys.
This was taken into consideration when decided his sentence however because mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating factors it was not taken as seriously as it should have been. Murder should normally be minimum 25 years, organizing and authorizing the execution of over 6000 muslim boys is more than murder, this is when it is called Genocide.If Genocide is an aggravating circumstance how is it that it something as severe as Genocide can be outweighed by mitigating circumstances that only come from the character himself, meaning things like remorse and cooperation with persecution. The second part of the Aggravating Circumstances, states, B. Vulnerability of victims and depravity of the crimes : The Prosecution submits that depravity of the crimes and vulnerability of the victims are factors that the Trial Chamber should find to be aggravating factors.
The victims were helpless women, children and elderly, as well as captured military age men, who were in a vulnerable position and were subjected to extreme depravity. This is basically describing who was killed during the Genocide, which included innocent men, women, children and elderly. This is supposed to be an aggravating circumstance, it is supposed to increase the sentence, the sentence of 17 years which does not agree with the Statute that was used in this trial. The statute states in Article 24 in 2. hat in imposing the sentences, the Trial Chambers should take into account such factors as the gravity of the offence and the individual circumstances of the convicted person. The gravity of the offence was extremely severe, it does not get heavier than Genocide. Article 24 1.
also says, 1. The penalty imposed by the Trial Chamber shall be limited to imprisonment. In determining the terms of imprisonment, the Trial Chambers shall have recourse to the general practice regarding prison sentences in the courts of the former Yugoslavia.In the former Yugoslavia, So the general practice regarding prison sentences in the former Yugoslavia used to be ruled by the Yugoslavia Criminal Code. Article 38 of SFRY Criminal Code sets out the terms of imprisonment, in 1977 the death penalty was abolished and replaced by imprisonment of 20-40 years for the gravest criminal offences. Clearly the International Criminal Tribunal did not consider this, and decided that the mitigating circumstances were enough to give Dragan Obrenovic a sentence less than life imprisonment.
This is a mistake and it sets a negative precedent for future cases of War Criminals that are to be tried before the Courts of Yugoslavia. Through everything, in the end the Trial Chamber had seen what it had done and had actually admitted it in the following statement, “The Trial Chamber has found that there exist in this case numerous mitigating circumstances upon which the Trial Chamber has placed substantial weight.Through the unqualified acceptance of his responsibility and his guilt, his sincere remorse, his substantial co-operation with the Prosecution, and his character, Dragan Obrenovic has mitigated his sentence. The Trial Chamber stresses that the allocation of significant weight to the mitigating circumstances in this case should not be interpreted as dismissal of the gravity of the offence for which Dragan Obrenovic has been convicted.The Trial Chamber has considered the scale of the crimes in which Dragan Obrenovic participated.
The Trial Chamber has further considered the impact of these crimes on the victims and their survivors. Both are enormous. ” This makes absolutely no sense, it is as if the trial chamber feels some sort of sympathy for this man, their job is to interpret the law and give him the penalty, his character, his remorse, should have little to no relevance if he’s killed over 6000 people and committed Genocide.It is as if they are mitigating his sentence themselves because they believe he was an innocent and confused child who just happened to be in a very powerful position, and this innocent and confused child then masterminded the deaths of thousands. Towards the end of the trial, the conclusion statements made by trial chamber describe the horrendous crimes, the following is the first conclusive statement the Trial Chamber made towards the sentencing process in Obrenovic’s trial. “Dragan Obrenovic has accepted criminal responsibility for his role in the commission of persecutions following the fall of Srebrenica.This horrendous crime, which was carried out by methods including the cold-blooded murder of thousands of Bosnian Muslim men, was one of the darkest moments of the long war in the former Yugoslavia.
” If these crimes are so horrendous, how do you mitigate the criminals sentence just because he feels guilty or sorry. The Tribunal should have used outside and more recent examples of war criminals to help impose their sentence. These crimes have been happening a lot lately and many war criminals have been tried and found guilty just like Obrenovic.A most recent example comes from Canada, on October 19, 2005 Desire Munyaneza, a Rwandan immigrant became the first person to be charged with 2 counts of genocide, 2 counts of crimes against humanity, and 3 counts of war crimes for actions allegedly committed in Rwanda in 1994. Desire Munyaneza was convicted of all charges and is facing life imprisonment.
The Tribunal in this court was misguided by Dragan Obrenovic’s expression of remorse which is why the sentence imposed by the Tribunal is hardly appropriate.In conclusion, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia did not impose a worthy sentence that agrees with Obrenovic’s crimes, burglary in the USA if committed with a gun and someone is shot, has a minimum of 20 years imprisonment, when this common criminal’s sentence is compared with Obrenovic’s it actually safe to say he got an easy sentence. Genocide is the mass extermination of a group of people, you are annihilating a group of individuals at once, it goes beyond murder and it is an unforgivable crime, Obrenovic was therefore given an unworthy and incomparable sentence.