Originally Posted by CC
It has nothing to do with immigrants. Men from all walks of life are killing their women (and sometimes the children too).
Believe me I know that, I was just pointing out that a lot of countries still have ancient traditions and habits that find nothing wrong with this type of barbarism, Brazil comes to mind, also India
Preferential Treatment of Offenders
The reportedly lenient treatment accorded assailants in wife-murder cases is especially troubling because a large majority of defendants are already "privileged" under Brazilian law as first-time offenders.66 As one defense attorney interviewed noted, "You don't kill your wife twice."67 Because such offenders are often people of good standing with no prior record, the large majority not only defend their cases while at liberty but also receive reduced penalties.
The principle of first-time offender was introduced in Brazil in a 1977 penal code reform which became known as the Lei Fleury (Fleury Law, named after a notorious police chief who was one of its early beneficiaries). The Fleury Law affects all forms of imprisonment for first-time offenders awaiting trial, sentencing or a decision on appeal. It gives judges discretion at any of these stages to grant liberty to first offenders pending a judicial decision on the merits, so long as there is no cause for preventive detention. Preventive detention is only used by judges to preserve the public order and to ensure the appearance of the accused at trial or pending appeal. The 1990 heinous-crimes law modified the Fleury Law, exempting from its benefit first-time offenders accused of heinous crimes, including rape.
Criminal defendants should be accorded reasonable bail. However, social prejudices lead judges to release offenders in wife-murder cases far more often than in other homicide cases, even when there is a legal basis for their detention. According to several defense attorneys and judges interviewed by Human Rights Watch, an estimated 90 percent of the defendants who areconvicted in wife-murder cases pursue their case without ever spending a night in custody until they are finally sentenced, which is often years later.
In the Aníbal Abreu e Silva case discussed above, the prosecution requested the preventive detention of the accused on the grounds that he had fled the scene of the crime and retained ample means to flee the country. The judge denied the prosecution's request, leaving Anibal to pursue his case while at liberty, a status which benefits the accused in several ways, which includes exacerbating the judicial system's already chronic delay. As one defense lawyer noted, "time gained by being at liberty works in favor of the accused. Society begins to forget."68 Moreover, according to judges and prosecutors with whom we spoke, offenders in wife-murder cases often take advantage of their freedom to flee, thereby rendering prosecution—which in Brazil requires the presence of the accused—practically impossible.
First-offender benefits are also invoked after conviction. One criminal court judge asserted:
Our law is loose and sloppy. Somebody's condemned to six years for killing his wife and he's a first-time offender with a good background, he won't even serve eighteen months. He usually goes to a semi-open prison and then one year later is granted conditional liberty (liberdade condicional) which is not linked to anything. We don't even watch him.69
The benefits of provisional liberty for deserving candidates should be preserved, but judges should weigh such liberty against the gravity of the crime, the desirability of speedy justice, and the potential for injustice resulting from flight—and should not allow social prejudice about the crime to influence their judgment. The Brazilian government is not per se responsible for deeply rooted social prejudices which underlie the honor defense, misapplication of the violent emotion defense, unwarranted reduction of charges in wife-murders and preferential treatment of offenders. Nor are such discriminatory attitudes unique to Brazil. However, insofar as Brazil's police and judges legitimate such prejudices by routinely allowing them to influence their disposition of wife-murder cases, the government is responsible for failing to fulfill itsobligations under both domestic and international law to guarantee equal protection to its citizens without regard to sex.
66 Several activists interviewed by Human Rights Watch pointed out that first-time-offender status would be denied to any perpetrator who had a previous record, and that many wife-murder crimes culminate a long period of domestic abuse. Unfortunately, as detailed in the section of this report on battery, such crimes often are not reported to the police, or, more important, when reported, are not always registered in an official police bulletin. And, even when registered, they are rarely prosecuted. Thus a wife-murderer who is a "first time offender" might actually have a history of committing domestic abuse, but it would not necessarily have been registered with the authorities.
67 Interview, Clóvis Sahione, attorney, April 1991.
68 Interview, Zulaiê Ribeiro, April 1991.
69 Interview, Judge Roberto Ferreira Lins, April 1991.
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