The National Justice Council (Conselho Nacional de Justiça – CNJ), Brazil’s judicial watchdog, has ordered the removal of a judge in the state of Pará. In 2007, the judge, Clarice Maria de Andrade, kept a female adolescent in a prison cell with thirty men for 26 days.
An investigation of the case by the CNJ found that Ms Andrade had visited the prison three days before sending the adolescent to jail there for attempted theft, a crime that under Brazilian jurisprudence does not automatically mean jail time.
At the time of her visit, the judge would have been able to see that the prison did not provide separate accommodations for male and female inmates, according to the CNJ report on its investigation.
There are aggravating circumstances in this case. It turns out that when judge Andrade was informed by the police that the minor (she was 16 years old) was in danger, judge Andrade signed a document ordering the girl’s transfer, antedating it so as to cover up her negligence.
The CNJ report says the case is so grave as to make it impossible for the judge to continue being a judge.
And what punishment does the CNJ hand out to a judge who put a young girl in a cell with a bunch of male criminals and then tried to hide her error? Compulsory retirement. Clarice Maria de Andrade will be retired with retirement benefits proportional to the time she was a judge.
However, state government attorneys (Ministério Público do Pará) are reported to be studying the possibility of a civil lawsuit against the judge. If that is successful, Clarice Maria de Andrade would be formally expelled from her position in the judicial system, losing her job and her retirement benefits.
The state of Pará, where this occurred, is also the state where the American nun, Dorothy Stang, was murdered five years ago. The Pará judicial system took five years to put three of the murderers and one of the farmer/landowner masterminds behind Stang’s killing behind bars. The other farmer/landowner mastermind is still awaiting trial.