International Criminal Justice headline stories this week

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Vietnam takes important step by signing Convention against Torture

According to news media, ambassador Le Hoai Trung, who signed the treaty on behalf of the Vietnamese government, stated that the signature is an expression of the government’s strong dedication to fight torture and other ill-treatment in Vietnam as well as upholding human rights in the country. He also asserted that the signing of the Convention represents Vietnam as “an active and responsible member of the international community”, that will further allow that “competent authorities of Vietnam continue to raise the knowledge, complete and perfect the legal system, contributing more and more to guarantee respect for human rights in the country”.

Anti-torture Committee expresses concern about overcrowding of prisons in Italy

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) today published a report on its most recent visit to Italy, in May 2012, in which it expresses concern about persistent overcrowding in prisons. The Committee also published a report on an ad hoc visit in June 2010. The reports were published together with the Italian government’s responses (2012, 2010).

Fidesz, Jobbik pass bill eliminating limit on pre-trial detention for certain crimes

Hungary’s Parliament on Monday eliminated the four-year upper limit of pre-trial detention for suspects of crimes who would serve a prison sentence of at least 15 years.

Panel would scrap bail money system

Low-risk criminal defendants would no longer have to raise money for bail before trial under a sweeping overhaul of Maryland’s centuries-old pretrial release system being considered by a panel set up by the General Assembly.

In recommendations released this week, task force members said the state should scrap the system under which poor defendants often remain in jail while more affluent suspects can post bond and get out.

Brooklyn jury acquits man of murder 24 years after he was jailed for the crime

It’s been more than 24 years since Derrick Deacon was jailed for a murder charge he’s always denied, 12 years since a different killer was identified, 17 months since an appeals court ordered a new trial — and it took only nine minutes for a jury to finally clear him.

Deacon, 58, trembled in tears when the Brooklyn panel swiftly found him not guilty of the April 1989 slaying and robbery of Anthony Wynn in the hallway of a Flatbush building.

“There was no case,” the foreperson said afterwards. “There was never a shred of evidence against Derrick Deacon. Why did they try him a second time if he’s been in jail for 24 years?”

Breaking: With Today’s Release of the San Antonio Four, Texas Now On the Cutting Edge of Efforts to Free the Innocent

Today in Texas, four wrongfully convicted women–known as the “San Antonio Four”–had their convictions overturned and were freed. This came about thanks to the latest in a line of innovations Texas lawmakers and the Innocence Project of Texas have devised to help the wrongfully convicted. Often thought of as a rough-and-tumble, “Hang ‘Em High” state–and still leading the nation in capital punishment–Texas is surprisingly now a trendsetter for innocence reforms.

The Majority Of Mexico’s Prisons Are Controlled By Inmates

Violence has increased in Mexico’s prisons and the majority are controlled by inmates, the National Human Rights Commission said.

The commission found in an annual report that 65 of the country’s 101 most populated prisons were under the control of convicts in 2012, a 4.3 per cent increase from 2011.

The commission said the number of riots, fights, escapes and homicides increased last year, with 73 acts of violence that left 154 inmates dead and 103 wounded. Another 261 inmates escaped.

 

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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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