Unanimously, the 11 ministers of the Federal Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the special provisional prison – the well-known “special cell” – for those who have a higher education diploma in a virtual trial that ended on the night of this Friday (31). Until now, if two people committed the same crime, but one of them studied more, the latter could be kept in a separate cell until definitively convicted or acquitted. What is a bison mamata.
Those who had access to formal education should not enjoy privileges over those who were forced, at a given moment, to choose between studying and working. Or who, of their own free will, simply chose not to go to college.
Only limited thinking is able to consider someone “superior” for having a bachelor’s or a degree. I may have more technical knowledge in a certain area, but that doesn’t make me a better person or with more character than someone who learned in practice, as an illiterate rural worker.
Rapporteur of the ADPF (Argument of Breach of Fundamental Precept) 334, filed in the Federal Supreme Court by the Attorney General’s Office, in 2015, Minister Alexandre de Moraes voted for the unconstitutionality. He was joined by the other ten ministers.
Article 5 of the Federal Constitution says that “all are equal before the law, without distinction of any nature”. condemnatory penalty for some groups.
In some cases, like police chiefs, for example, this prevents revenge. In others, such as holders of a higher education degree, it is pure stewardship.
The Federal Senate had overthrown this excrescence present in item VII, of article 295, of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but the Chamber of Deputies, of course, barred the change.
Rodrigo Janot, then Attorney General of the Republic, filed the ADPF with the STF against the item. According to him, the item “violates the constitutional conformation and the fundamental objectives of the Republic, the principle of human dignity and isonomy”. According to his argument, the separation should not occur because of the educational level, but because of the nature of the crime, age and gender.
Considering that, before the trial and conviction, there is the presumption of innocence, it would be important for the regime of these prisoners to be differentiated. But that should apply to everyone – from the illiterate to the postdoctoral. Thus, it would not be the granting of a privilege, but the guarantee of a right.
In fact, the ideal thing is that we don’t send those who are not convicted to jail if they don’t present a risk to society or the investigation. But if the person is poor, it is not uncommon for them to be forgotten for years, awaiting judgment. The proportion of pre-trial detainees dropped from 40% in 2014 to 29.1% at the end of last year.
The pandemic helped lower this rate due to measures to avoid crowds. Still, it’s a lot.
Brazil holds a lot and holds poorly. Provisional or precautionary arrest is often used as an anticipation of punishment even before the trial. Especially if you’re black and poor.
With the judgment in the STF, Brazil becomes a little fairer and less unequal.
Now all that remains is to ensure that the poor do not suffer years of pre-trial detention, awaiting judgments that may exonerate them. May blacks not be sent to prison for crimes they did not commit because they were mistakenly confused by the color of their skin. And that all people have the same treatment before the Justice, regardless of how much they have in their bank account.
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