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Indeterminate sentence law

It is intended to favor the accused particularly to shorten his term of

imprisonment, depending upon his behavior and his physical, mental, and
moral record as a prisoner to be determined by the Board of Indeterminate
It is indeterminate in the sense that after serving the MINIMUM, the convict
may be released on parole, or if he is not fitted for release, he shall continue
serving his sentence until the end of the MAXIMUM.
It is the courts duty to determine the minimum and maximum period

The crime can be punished under special laws and the RPC
Special Laws
The court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence, the MAXIMUM
TERM of which shall not exceed the maximum fixed by said law and the minimum
shall not be less than the MINIMUM TERM prescribed by the same. There are no
penalty grades

The court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence the
MAXIMUM TERM in view of the attending circumstances which could be properly
imposed under the Code, and the MINIMUM TERM which shall be within the range of
the penalty next lower in degree to that prescribed by the Code for the offense. In
determining the minimum term it is left upon the discretion of the court within the
penalty next lower.
For example:
The court has imposed ARRESTO MAYOR as minimum term which has a period of 2
mos 1 day to 6 mos.
The court may impose 6 mos of imprisonment as a minimum even if there is no
aggravating circumstance.
The court for the same reason may impose 2 mos and 1 day as minimum even if
there is no mitigating circumstance. It being upon the discretion of the court

Examples of Application of Indeterminate Sentence Law

Special Law
A is convicted of Illegal possession of fire arms punishable by imprisonment of 1 yr
1day to 5 yrs
The court may impose:
2 yrs 1 day as minimum to 4 yrs as maximum or;
3 yrs 1 day to 5 yrs
as long as it does not exceed the minimum and maximum as prescribed by law

Basic Guideline in determining sentence
Art. 64 Outline of Rules:
No AC and MC - medium period
Only a mitigating - minimum period
Only an aggravating - maximum period
2 mitigating - impose penalty next lower
Many aggravating - maximum of the penalty imposed

A is convicted of falsification of official document which is penalized by prision
mayor with the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender
Disregard first the mitigating circumstance. Hence the penalty is Prision Mayor
medium this should be the basis of the maximum term and it only becomes PM
minimum because of the mitigating circumstance Voluntary Surrender
Final sentence: Maximum Term = PM min
Minimum Term = PC in any of its periods since it the penalty next lower.

Factors to be taken into consideration in fixing the minimum penalty

it is necessary for the court to consider the criminal as an individual and as a
member of society

general health
mentality heredity and personal habits
previous conduct
morals and previous education
usefulness or injury to the society
manner and circumstance in which the crime was committed
gravity of the offense

ISL in not applicable when not favorable to the accused

A was convicted of illegal possession of guns. 1 grease gun and 2 thompsons the
crime is punishable by imprisonment of 5-10 years.
The Trial Court imposed an imprisonment of 5 years and 1 day. Is the penalty
It was held that in such cases the imposition of ISL would be unfavorable to the
accused since ISL provides that the minimum penalty could not be less than 5
years, thus lengthening his sentence. As a rule ISL shall only be applied when
favorable to the accused. (People vs Nungkay)

When Modifying Circumstance is Considered

Under the ISL the maximum term shall only be the one affected by the attending
circumstance while the minimum term shall fall within the range of the penalty next
lower without reference to the 3 periods namely min,med, and max. It shall depend
on the sound discretion of the court.

Indeterminate Sentence Law not applicable to the following

1.Convicted of offenses punished with death or life imprisonment.
2. Those convicted of treason, conspiracy or proposal to commit treason,
misprision of treason, rebellion, sedition or espionage, or piracy
3. Those who are habitual delinquents

4. Those who shall have escaped from confinement or evaded sentence.

5. Those who having been granted conditional pardon by the President who shall
have violated the terms thereof.

6. Those whose maximum period of imprisonment does not exceed one year.

7. Those already serving final judgment upon the approval of this Act (December
5, 1933).
8. Those sentenced to the penalty of destierro or suspension.
9. Those whose maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed 1 year

The penalty of ISL is based on the penalty actually imposed

If a person was charged with a crime of acts of lasciviousness which the penalty
is prision correccional the duration to which is 6 mos 1 day to 6 years and the
court only imposed 6 mos 1 day as minimum ISL shall not apply since the
minimum sentence does not exceed 1 year

Reasons for fixing the min and max penalties of ISL

Whenever any prisoner shall have served his minimum term he shall appear
before the board of indeterminate sentence for evaluation and shall release in
accordance to the conditions prescribed by the board
Whenever a prisoner is released on parole he shall be in surveillance and when
he violates any of the conditions, the Board may issue for his arrest and he shall
continue to serve the unexpired portion of his maximum sentence.
Even if a prisoner has served his minimum but is not fitted for release he shall
continue to serve until the end of his maximum sentence