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May 20, 2009



This is a Brazilian reality. To make matters worse, once someone completes 2/3 of their sentence, they are set free. And more: No matter how harsh the sentence is (let's say, 200 years), no one can spend more than 30 years in prison in Brazil. So even if you have committed several crimes, you will be on the streets after 25 years max (2/3).

Ray Adkins


This is really horrible!
I also get sick to my stomach to hear stories like this from Brazil.
However, in this specific matter, it is not an exclusive Brazilian aspect, this absurd system is dictated by the countries who are based on the Roman Law, such as most of Europe with the exception of the UK, Quebec, Canada, Louisiana, USA and many other countries in the world such as most of Latin America, any country colonized by Portugal, Spain or France.
I have hated and despised the Roman Law based judicial systems since ever I understood the difference between it and the Common Law Systems such as the one we have in the US with the exception of Louisiana, the UK, most of Canada etc...
Our system, the Common Law system is easier to change and evolve, the Roman Law system is very rigid and changes are very rare, by consequence you find an archaic set up with cruel and often unfair results.
Just to give you an example, until very recently, in Brazil, there was an article in the Civil Code ( Codigo Civil ), that assured husbands 30 days to find out if there wives were virgins, and "returned" them as damaged goods if they found out they were not.
Men could get marriages nullified, using that specific article from the Civil Code, a clear unfair and achaic form of humiliation, not commonly used by an absurd to even to be found in a Civil Code used as a reference by society.
One classic characteristic of Roman Law systems is a high level of complacency with Crime, maybe because when it was created, back in the Roman empire days, many people were accused and found guilty but were Innocent, so there was an over compensation to the other side.
Brazil has been able to create change slowly, Brazilians are highly complacent and your frustration is widely understood and shared by many, Brazilians or not.



I can't believe I've never even heard of this case (even though the fact that I'm not a local news-watching girl can account for that).

Thanks for enlightening me about my country once again... I guess.


Are you sure this is an example of impunity ? O Magrinho is being punished isn't he ? Isn't your critique of the disastrous penal/judicial/etc system in Brazil ?

Rio Gringa

This guy is accused of a murder ten years ago, for which he was never tried nor imprisoned prior to the trial. That is impunity, and had he been tried, sentenced, and put in jail, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to commit the second murder.


In my small town in Brazil, a council driver (motorista da prefeitura) was drunk while driving his van and crashed into a house killing 3 small children. He did not go to prison


For better or worse, it proves the brazilian judicial system is fair, in the sense that both poor and rich enjoy impunity. Both politicians and murderers!! HOW NICE!

Seriously, must I remember gringos , who are usually complaining that rich people dont go to jail in Brazil, that murderers hardly go too, and if you nuked São Paulo killing 20 million people, you would get 30 years of jail with possibility of parole in 10 years?

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