The Ministry of Justice announced Wednesday a change in policy in cases of women killed by their partner or relative. So far, the defendants have been charged with manslaughter, but from now on they will be charged with murder.
The Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee discussed the planned reform, which will create a new hierarchy in the Penal Code, by combining bills proposed by Knesset members Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) and Mickey Rosenthal (Zionist Union).
According to the proposal, in addition to intentional killing, death caused by "depraved indifference" to human life will also be considered murder.
"The reality calls upon us to hurry," said MK Rosenthal, referring to the multiple cases of murdered women from the past several months.
Lilach Wagner of the Justice Ministry explained, "The main criticism by the court is not the excessive severity of murder charges today, but the fact manslaughter charges are inadequate for some cases that should be labeled as murder."
Attorney Naomi Granot, a representative of the State Attorney's Office, added there is no difference between a person who stabbed another and fled and a person who stabbed and made sure that the other person was dead. "We believe there is no ethical, moral difference between the two instances, and the both defendants should be labeled murderers."
Attorney Yishai Sharon of the National Public Defender's Office urged prudence, saying, "We must be cautious of radical measures, especially when talking about the most serious offense with the most severe labeling."
Lara Zinman, chairman of the Families of Murder Victims organization, noted cases in which "a great injustice was done."
According to her, "We believe with this (legislation), this would not have happened."
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)