Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Speedy trials

One of those mindfucks I am referring to in the title of the blog is that this country, on paper, is really amazing. Guess what I just found out. While the "right to a speedy trial" may have been first codified in the U.S. Bill of Rights, in Venezuela you have a right to an arraignment within 12 hours, even on the weekend. That means criminal court judges, some of whom even earn enough to stop living with their parents, have to work every second weekend processing arrestees. Having known many people in the U.S. who spent all weekend in the tank after some minor incident on Friday evening, this is the kind of basic civil rights that makes a country seem civilized.

What makes this a mindfuck?

Things like this.
Venezuela’s prisons are among the most violent and dangerous in the world...

Above and beyond the harsh conditions and the continuous risk to life, "what prisoners resent most are the procedural delays that keep them warehoused without justice having been served in their case," Marianela Sánchez, a lawyer at OVP, told IPS.

According to Venezuelan law, no one may be detained for more than two years without being sentenced. "But the justice system gets around this by deferment of procedures, a legal ruse that brings back the bad old days.
Ah, speedy trials.

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