Suppose a Russian citizen commits many of the worst atrocities. Now suppose that they have a whole digital record of planning and premeditation. Would the digital evidence make the Russian Civilian get the maximum sentence possible?

Note: I know that it is possible to get the max without digital evidence. I would like to know if digital evidence can be the deciding factor.


2 Answers 2


The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation does not list the digital nature of the evidence as an aggravating circumstance for sentencing / punishment. Rather, it lists:

a. repeated commission of crimes; recidivism of offences;

b. grave consequences of the commission of a crime;

c. commission of a crime by a group of persons or a group of persons as a result of a preliminary conspiracy, by an organized group, or by a criminal community (criminal organization);

d. especially active role played in the commission of a crime;

e. involvement in the commission of the crime of the persons who suffer from heavy mental derangement or who are in a state of intoxication, or of persons who have not attained the age of criminal responsibility;

f. commission of a crime by reason of national, racial, or religious hatred or enmity, out of revenge for the lawful actions of other persons, or with the purpose of concealing or facilitating another crime;

g. commission of a crime against a person or his relatives in connection with his official activity or the discharge of his public duty;

h. commission of a crime against a woman who is obviously in a state of pregnancy, or against a minor, another defenseless or helpless person, or a person who is dependent on the guilty person;

i. commission of a crime with especial brutality, sadism, or mockery, or involving torments for the victim;

j. commission of a crime with the use of weapons, ammunition, explosives, fake explosives, specially manufactured technical means, poisonous or radioactive substances, medicinal or other chemical and pharmacological preparations, or with the use of physical or mental compulsion;

k. commission of a crime during a state of emergency, natural or social disaster, or during mass disturbances;

l. commission of a crime, abusing confidence placed in the guilty person through his official position, or through a contract;

m. commission of a crime with the use of uniforms or documents of representatives of the authorities.

As a practical matter, this makes sense. Facts are determined based on evidence. If the evidence considered in the totality of the case, gets the finder of fact to a particular conclusion, it should not matter any further what the nature of that evidence was.

I also see no logical or practical distinction between, for example, evidence of an act of murder captured by digital camera and that same evidence captured on cinematographic film.


In Russia, if a perp commits several of the worst crimes and there is digital evidence for them, do they get the max sentence?

Not necessarily.

Russian judges, like judges everywhere, have considerable discretion in sentencing decisions for most crimes (although there are probably particular crimes for which they have less discretion).

Sentencing decisions generally consider the seriousness of the crime within the range of offenses that constitute guilt of that offense, and the circumstances of the offender.

The presence or absence of digital evidence is irrelevant. Whether the evidence was unequivocal or marginal but sufficient, is basically irrelevant.

A sixty-three year old female first offender who was also a war hero who raised seven children who are now top level government officials and is battling breast cancer, would probably get more lenient treatment that a healthy thirty-two year old man who has spent most of his adult life in prison for prior violent crimes.

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