Brazilian Supreme Court has approved today an act that forbids policemen to put handcuffs on prisoners that offers no risks of aggression or escape.
This decision was made after a construction worker, condemned for 13 years as a murderer, sued the State because he was kept handcuffed throughout his entire trial. This case got to the Supreme Court and served as a base for this new rule.
At a first glimpse, some may say the Supreme’s decision is ok. That’s surely not my opinion.
I’m a law student and I have no shame in saying that I feel sorry for the brazilian law system. In order to understand the true meaning of this new rule, we must remember that recently some important figures, like bankers and politicians, have been arrested by our Federal Police.
Actions of the Fed’s have a singular characteristic, which, by the way, I’m not a fan. Almost all of them are previously leaked to TV stations so that, at the moment of the arrests, cameras are able to capture every moment of the action.
Surely that’s not appropriate, but well, It’s also not something that keeps the Federal Police from doing it’s job! If you want to know, Fed’s here in Brazil actually work. Big fishes are taken to jail everyday.
The problem is that these fishes are thrown back into the ocean in a day or two because our justice system sets them free. And, because of all that media coverage, the system has also taken the cuffs away from criminals.
Imagine if a politician or a really rich banker can be seen on TV handcuffed? Of course not!
It’s a shame. Definitely, a shame.