Conectas expresses solidarity with Judge Kenarik Boujikian, who was formally reprimanded last week for her decision to release pre-trial detainees who have already spent more time in prison than required by the sentences they receive.
The judge’s reprimand was decided on February 8 by the Special Body of the São Paulo State Court, by 15 votes to 9. The decision prevents Boujikian from receiving any merit-based promotion for a period of one year, in accordance with the Brazilian law that governs judges.
However, by releasing the detainees, Judge Boujikian was simply observing the law. In addition to setting a serious precedent against the independence of the São Paulo state judiciary, the reprimand represents an attempt at ideological control and a reprisal against a judge who, unlike most of her peers, does not view mass incarceration as an effective security policy.