On occasions, I....as an American....will notice some things that aren't front-page news in Germany.
This morning, our regional news here in Hessen got around to court action from Friday over a guy who murdered his pregnant wife. He initially hit her with a hammer, and at the end....strangled her.
The sentence for killing his wife? Twelve years. Yeah....just twelve years.
The story has a twist or two. The husband found out around the 7th month of pregnancy that the kid wasn't his. While he confessed to the murder....he also said it wasn't his intention to kill her. In some ways.....he was just mad and on a bit of rage.
An American would look at this and just shake his head. The guy is forty-one years old, and if you count in 'good-time'....he'll likely be out within ten years.
I would say at least ten times a year....I'll come across such stories in Germany. Violent assault, murder, robbery with a weapon....and the sentence isn't what you'd expect. With the current view of things.....I think a German could actually kill several folks and likely never get more than twenty years in prison. Of course, there's also the German law where they can do a personal evaluation over a guy for a violent act and toward the end of the prison sentence....just make a decision by a judge to hold the guy forever because of his violent nature (without any use of the original act).
The odds that this guy might get a 'forever-add-on'? Better than fifty percent. This simply puts him into a prison and allows people to later clean up the mess by a permanent evaluation situation.