El asesinato de personas constitucionalmente indefensas: una propuesta para una interpretación razonable del asesinato hiperagravado del artículo 140.1.1.ª del Código Penal español

Ana M. Garrocho Salcedo , Universidad Carlos III de Madrid


The malicious death of constitutionally defenseless persons–such as infants or frail older adults, or those affected by an illness or disability– has been consistently classified by jurisprudence as aggravated murder. However, said qualification poses significant legality issues, broadly speaking, considering the specific regulation of malice in Article 22 of Spanish Penal Code. Additionally, the penal reform of 2015 introduced statutory language singling out victims under 16 years old or especially vulnerable individuals because of their age, illness or disability, which, unless interpreted restrictively, leads to prohibited duplicative sanctions under the non bis in idem principle. This paper offers legal practitioners with a restrictive interpretation of intentional crimes against life, avoiding duplicative sanctions, and aiming to prevent excessive punishments when qualifying the intentional killing of vulnerable individuals

Murder, aggravated homicide, minors under 16 years old, vulnerable persons due to age, illness or disability, revisable life imprisonment, non bis in idem principle

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