Thiago Felipe Rodrigues Pereira, 35, better known as “Thiago Cabeção”, was convicted in 2014 for one of the crimes that has attracted the most attention in Natal in recent years. persuasion. In 2014, he was sentenced to 26 years in prison for the death of 15-year-old student Maria Luiza Fernandes Bezerra, who was brutally murdered in April 2009. The Maria Luiza case, as it came to be known, is considered by the police to be one of the most barbaric crimes in recent Christmas history. Months later, in September, he was arrested again by the civilian police and repeated the crime. Measure provided for in the federal constitution, the progression of sentences for prisoners from the closed to the semi-open regime has become stricter in recent years. Had he been framed in the new law, Thiago would not have been able to leave until he had served at least 50% of the sentence. In total, Thiago has a further 24 years, 3 months and 29 days in prison for the two convictions and could return to semi-open in 2029.
The new legislation came into force in 2020, as part of the “anti-crime” package, one of the measures taken by the then Minister of Justice and Public Security, Sérgio Moro. For example, before the Penal Execution Act (7.210/1984) stipulated that the regime’s progress would be after serving at least 1/6 of the sentence. For cases where crimes were committed before the law was changed, justice is guaranteed, that is, the previous legislation prevails.
Others convicted of crimes that shocked Rio Grande do Norte will benefit from the criminal prosecution law, such as salesman Osvaldo Pereira de Aguiar, who in 2009 murdered and dismembered 11-year-old Maisla dos Santos; and bricklayer Marcondes da Silva, who raped, murdered, and dismembered 12-year-old Iasmin Lorena in 2018. According to information gathered by TN, both could enter the semi-open in 2036 and 2030 respectively.
“If I were a legislator, I would be stricter about certain types of crime. Some of them, with life imprisonment, but I’m not a legislator. I follow what the law stipulates. It seems to me that Brazilian law was extremely favorable until recently, such as for example a crime where the subject killed the victim, divided the victim into four, allowing the progress of the regime after serving 1/6th of the sentence. This is absurd. Is the six-year sentence for a burglar sufficient or not? The legislature predicted that. The problem is: does it apply, but fulfills only one? So the real sentence is one year. This is where Brazilian law comes in handy. With these changes, after Sérgio Moro as minister, it became a bit more difficult, but from then on it applies”, evaluates the Judge of Criminal Executions of RN, Henrique Baltazar.
According to specialists, criminalists and lawyers, the progress of the regime needs two aspects that must be postponed by the justice system: objective and subjective. The first concerns the execution of the sentence. The second concerns a series of fundamentals, such as good behavior in prison, without serious mistakes or warnings, for example, psychiatric and psychological analysis, among others.
“The constitution prohibits life imprisonment. In fact, these people will return to society. The solution offered by the legislation is to establish precisely these differentiated parameters for those who commit these more serious crimes. We should point out that the progress is not automatic when the deadline is reached. The law sets objective requirements, the scope of differentiated time and the subjective requirement. If you are a convicted person of serious misconduct, if you have run away, or if you have been involved in a crime or circumstances, progression will not be awarded automatically. A full evaluation of the convict’s behavior is being carried out to determine whether it will benefit him,” said Public Prosecutor’s Office Prosecutor Patrícia Albino Galvão Pontes.
The lawyer and member of the Criminal Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB-RN), Flaviano Gama, points out that the increasing rigidity in criminal justice progress must be accompanied by government policies regarding the rehabilitation of prisoners.
“Progress is important because our prison is punitive, with a re-education purpose. The state, as a whole, would have a structural obligation to provide the prisoner with the elements so that he can re-educate himself, mold himself and when he leaves, he does not return. Unfortunately, today we see the state giving up this kind of regenerative rehabilitation policy and prioritizing a policy of incarceration. For decades, our penal system has excelled at tightening the law, in the sense of punishment, rather than investing in fighting crime, but in paper, increasing penalties and processing times. The result of this is not that crime has decreased,” he notes.
Judge Henrique Baltazar makes another reflection on the issue of prisons. “The discourse in Brazil informing much of our academy is that the purpose of punishment is to re-socialize, but that’s not all. It is also to punish, to punish, to serve as an example so that others do not commit a crime or that the criminal does not do it again himself. Providing conditions for rehabilitation is part of, one of the goals, serving the sentence must give the convicted person the condition to return to social life, but he must also be punished, the sentence serves as an example.” he adds.
RN has 3000 prisoners in half open
Rio Grande do Norte has 3,074 inmates in the semi-open regime, according to data from the State Department of Penitentiary Administration (SEAP-RN). In the state, inmates wear electronic anklets and have specific rules for serving the rest of the sentence.
“The convict is being monitored, is in circumstances, normally he has to stay in his home or work at night and during the day he can try to work and return to his normal life. You can travel, even leave the state, as long as you have court approval. For example, we have truck drivers,” said Judge Henrique Baltazar of the criminal court.
Also according to Baltazar, one of the points of the semi-open regime is that government spending is being cut. According to him, the semi-open regime does not stand in the way of criminal recidivism.
“The convict who is in prison costs a lot more for the state, food, aid, the structure. The calculation is that the ankle joint costs 10% of the detainee. That is more beneficial for the State,” he notes. “And also for society, because the man who lives with his family is not in prison at the risk of actions by the factions. He is more likely to return to normal life. In prison it is more complicated,” he adds.
Project helps victims of violence
A Rio Grande do Norte Public Prosecutor’s Office project aims to help people who have lost relatives and friends to violence in the state. The Support Center for Victims of Deadly and Deliberate Violence (NUAVV), established in July this year, has already helped nearly 40 people overcome their grief and obtain procedural information about the trials of their victims.
“The idea behind it, which has been reinforced, is that not only the suspect under investigation is the entitled person, but also the victim,” explains the project coordinator, Public Prosecutor Vinícius Leão.
The core works in a network with the Municipal Health Service of Natal (SMS), the Municipal Service for Work and Social Assistance of Natal (Semtas) and the Public Prosecution Service (DPE).
The project, which is a pilot project, only works in the capital Natal and should be implemented soon.
“The idea is to expand into Greater Natal and municipalities that could be hubs,” Leão is quoted as saying. NUAVV provides initial psychological and social care for relatives of victims of fatal and intentional violent crime and referral to services to help the bereaved.
“We have two big demands, one for mental health, psychological care. In this case, we refer the person to the Grief Reference Center in Candelária. When the demand for information or guidance is, for example, the family wants to know how such an action is progressing, because such evidence has not been considered because the investigation is being halted, these kinds of demands that defy a legal perspective, we begin to monitor. This person becomes a permanent user,” adds Leão.
NUAVV can also be reached by email email@example.com and by phone/whatsapp (84) 99972-5351.
How Criminal Progression Works, Under the Penal Execution Act
art. 112. The custodial sentence is gradually implemented with transfer to a less strict regime to be determined by the court, when the detainee at least:
I – 16% (sixteen percent) of the penalty, if the perpetrator is a main offender and the crime was committed without violence to the person or serious threat;
II – 20% (twenty percent) of the sentence, if the convicted person is a repeat offender in a crime committed without violence against the person or serious threat;
III – 25% (twenty-five percent) of the penalty, if the offender is a main offender and the crime was committed with violence against the person or serious threat;
IV – 30% (thirty percent) of the penalty, if the convicted person is a repeat offender in a crime committed with violence against the person or serious threat;
V – 40% (forty percent) of the sentence, if the convict has been convicted of committing a heinous or similar crime, if it is a primary crime;
VI – 50% (fifty percent) of the penalty, if the detainee:
a) convicted of committing a heinous or similar crime, resulting in death, if primary, parole is prohibited;
b) convicted of exercising the order, individually or collectively, of a criminal organization formed to commit a heinous or similar crime; or
c) convicted of committing the offense of forming a private militia;
VII – 60% (sixty percent) of the penalty, if the convicted person is a repeat offender in the practice of a heinous or similar crime;
VIII – 70% (seventy percent) of the sentence, if the convict is a repeat offender in a heinous crime or is equivalent to death, conditional release is prohibited.