Criminal Justice Reform

897 Words4 Pages
In 2008, continually elevating degrees of criminal activity prompted considerable public concern and ultimately the demand for the reform of Mexico 's judicial system. With the approval of President Felipe Calderón, the Mexican Congress introduced a sequence of significant changes to Mexico 's flawed and antiquated legal system. The reforms consist of four fundamental elements; substantial alterations to criminal procedure, improved attention to the due process rights of both parties involved, redefining the role of law enforcement within the judicial system, particularly concerning criminal investigations, and a more resolute agenda for resisting organized crime activity. These amendments were introduced to effectively alter the framework…show more content…
The implementation of the reforms is meant to correct four main components of Mexico 's judicial system. In the system 's current condition, criminal cases take an extremely long time to conclude, due to a complicated criminal process and legislative inadequacy. Often, this results in criminal suspects stranded in jail until conviction for years at a time (Shirk, 2016). Secondly, the reform will focus on the protection of the civil rights of both the victims and the suspects, in an attempt to impede misconduct (Shirk, 2016). Very seldom do suspects get released from jail, either through bail or personal recognizance, despite how small their crime may be. Mexico also holds many criminals in a "preventative prison" which leads to the belief that suspects are regarded "guilty until proven innocent" (Shirk, 2016). The changes also aim to offer more efficient public access to justice, for as it stands, only one in five crimes are brought forward due to a lack of confidence in the justice system (Shirk, 2016). The third main amendment addresses the various roles within the judicial system. The police, as opposed to the Prosecution, are now responsible for the whole of the investigation, including obtaining and presenting evidence (Shirk, 2016). The judge 's role is redefined from that of direct involvement in the investigation, to strictly moderator of the courtroom (Shirk, 2016). Finally, in an attempt to curb organized crime, the reforms incorporate a tougher criminal procedure. Law enforcement can now hold organized crime suspects for up to 40 days, or an extended 80 days with authorization, sans indictment under the new ruling "arriago"; meaning to "hold firmly". A new reform also designates wiretapping and property seizure now permissible in any case involving auto theft, and drug and human trafficking
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