Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg want to achieve tougher penalties for extremist perpetrators with a Bundesrat initiative. For example, Saxony-Anhalt's Justice Minister Angela Kolb (SPD) said in Berlin on Wednesday that racist motives should be taken more into account. According to her Brandenburg counterpart Beate Blechinger (CDU), the two states also want prison sentences in such cases to be enforced as a rule instead of suspended.
The two states plan to introduce their initiative to amend the penal code in the Bundesrat in September. According to both ministers, it is also supported by Saxony, Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. If the state chamber approves such a change in the law, the project will go to the Bundestag. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, in 2006, there were more than 18.000 crimes motivated by right-wing extremism, including more than 1.000 acts of violence. Less on probation According to the initiative, the penal code should in future explicitly consider it a punishable offence if an act was committed because of the victim's political views, religion, disability or sexual orientation. In addition, short prison sentences should generally be imposed in such cases instead of fines, and prison sentences of more than six months should not be subject to probation. Blechinger said the perpetrators often regarded fines and suspended sentences as a de facto acquittal. Kolb called the initiative a signal that such acts will be prosecuted more vigorously.