Monday, August 11, 2014

Habeas granted in Brazilian case

The Superior Military Tribunal has granted a writ of habeas corpus in an interesting case. The accused soldier had been placed in pretrial confinement on charges that he possessed 20 grams of marijuana in the barracks. He claimed to have the marijuana for a friend to use in an abortifacient tea. Held, pretrial confinement is not warranted in the circumstances. The STM appears to have rejected the notion that pretrial detention was proper because it would be "beneficial to the restoration of discipline and moral values ​​governing military society."
In considering the request, the rapporteur, Minister Fernando Sérgio Galvão, granted the defense request and released the soldier from preventive detention. According to him, the decision of the lower court overturned many judicial precedents. According to the rapporteur, preventive detention is an exceptional measure and should be ordered only when properly supported by legal requirements, in compliance with the constitutional presumption of innocence, rather than anticipating the sentence to be served if there is a final conviction. [Rough Google translation.]

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