Criminal Justice System – news roundup

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National news:

Seventy-two arrested in Joburg CBD over weekend

“The arrests were made during an anti-crime operation in the inner city from Friday to Monday, said Warrant Officer Xoli Mbele.

“Six suspects were arrested for common robbery, one for murder, one for theft out of a motor vehicle, five for domestic violence, three for possession of dagga, three for fraud, and sixteen for shoplifting.”

Others were arrested for various crimes, such as assault, malicious damage to property, intimidation, possession of suspected stolen property, theft, armed robbery, and drunk driving.”

10111 refuses to call cops to murder scene

Richard Allkins, from the Amanzimtoti Community Crime Prevention Organisation, was quoted as saying: “When we called 10111, there was an argument because the call operator wasn’t prepared to send anyone out without the exact details of the victim and her injuries, which we didn’t have at that moment.

“We finally flagged down a police van with members on a routine patrol. They couldn’t believe that they hadn’t been radioed immediately to come to the scene.”

Critical forensic evidence lost

“Two of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) most specialised units abandoned a cache of serious violent crime dockets in the Fitnique building in Middelburg, where both the former Serious Violent Crimes Unit and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit were stationed.”

International news:

Hi-tech tracking of prisoners on cards

“Jails in the state may soon have touchscreen kiosks, where prisoners can get details about wages, remission in sentence, date of release and status of parole application.”

Jailed for Life for Stealing a $159 Jacket? 3,200 Serving Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Crimes

“A shocking new study by the American Civil Liberties Union has found that more than 3,200 people nationwide are serving life terms without parole for nonviolent offenses. Of those prisoners, 80 percent are behind bars for drug-related convictions. Sixty-five percent are African-American, 18 percent are white, and 16 percent are Latino — evidence of what the ACLU calls “extreme racial disparities.” The crimes that led to life sentences include stealing gas from a truck, shoplifting, possessing a crack pipe, facilitating a $10 sale of marijuana, and attempting to cash a stolen check”

G4S: the inside story

“To critics, the police authority’s 10-year contract with G4S looks more like a time bomb that could destroy an increasingly fragile consensus about where the limits of private security lie. For G4S, however, such potentially explosive deals with the public sector – in Britain and abroad – are a treasure-chest, which it wants to prise open further.”

Thousands of Detroit rape victims may never see justice

“In the U.S. hundreds of thousands of people are raped each year. DNA tests, called rape kits, are often the only evidence that can stand up in court. In Detroit, prosecutors are revisiting thousands of unsolved cases and one rapist was convicted today.”

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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