Judge Renato Müller Bratti, 33 years in the judiciary, has been leading the Laguna Criminal Court for almost two decades and, by virtue of the unit’s competence, also commanding the sessions of the Jury Court. Bratti estimates that, in that period, he has presided over more than 200 juries in his career.
Born in Grão-Pará, he also had his first experience as presiding judge in a popular jury in the south of the state, in the region of Urussanga. According to him, the tension was great due to the lack of experience, but in the end everything went well. “It was so remarkable that to this day I remember the last names of the defendants”, he guarantees.
Among the most outstanding juries, some stand out, such as a laborious case with great repercussion in the city. Five defendants and seven crimes to be tried. The trial took almost 24 hours straight. The jurors, he recalls, had to answer 144 questions.
The brutality of some crimes also draws attention, such as a femicide in which the man killed his partner in front of her children, with a stick. And, still, the shocking case of a man who killed his co-worker using a chainsaw. “He practically cut the other one in half”, he summarizes.
In his opinion, the biggest misconception he observes in relation to the Jury Court is the population’s idea that the jury is a simple theater. “This is a serious judgment that is provided for in our Federal Constitution, by determining that, in intentional crimes against life, defendants must be judged by their peers in society and not by judges togados”, he explains.
The magistrate also believes that all people who have good repute and credibility should participate in at least one jury in their lifetime. “It is an experience they will take forever. Many people think they are not fit, but with the progress of the trial, with the hearing of witnesses, with the debates, they will be prepared to analyze the case and judge”, he analyzes.
As for the improvements brought by technology, Bratti states that the transition from the physical to the digital process made it easier for everyone to access the records, without making copies, which was usually necessary, but highlights another achievement. “For me, the big change occurred when we started to take the testimonies in recorded form.”
Before, states the magistrate, there was a need to type all the depositions and interrogations, which implied a great wear and a very long delay in the conclusion of the trials. “We also had a significant facilitation when the Criminal Procedure Code was reformed, with the simplification of the questions that must be answered by the jurors.”
On the verge of completing 17 years in the Laguna Criminal Court, the magistrate says that it was very gratifying to participate in the installation of his unit. “Before, criminal cases were judged by the two judges who carried out their activities in the district. So, with the installation, we had the specialization of the matter, which is healthy for the development of the works.”
Bratti states that he remains at the head of the Criminal Court in an ongoing challenge, “since all of Brazil registers a very large increase in crime, mainly involving criminal factions”.
In his opinion, the current challenge is to contain crime, which is advancing at great strides, mainly due to illicit drugs, since it is above all that criminal factions use to obtain great values that support an entire structure focused on crime. “This is the condition of factions that today practice the most serious crimes, such as homicides, robberies, robberies, thefts and others, all of which are also aimed at supporting the entire structure of the factions.”
Check out the articles that make up the special series on the Jury Court, which will continue until next Friday (2/9):
1st matter – Jury is the democratic expression of the people’s will (29/8)
2nd subject – Exercise of citizenship with savings in your pocket (30/8)
3rd matter – Judge recalls 2 decades and 200 sessions in charge of juries (31/8)
4th story - Jury sessions in Brazil do not have Hollywood glamor (1/9)
5th subject – Exclusive session testimony under the eyes of a jury (2nd)
Images: Publicity/Comarca de Laguna
Content: Press Office/NCI
Responsible: Ângelo Medeiros – Reg. Prof.: SC00445(JP)