If dagga is decriminalised, R3.5-billion could be invested annually in serious crimes. It may take some of the pressure off the clogged-up court system, an overburdened police force, severely overcrowded prisons and see more successful prosecutions for murders such as that of Karabo Mokoena.
Authors - Ruth Hopkins
While the parole system or parole boards cannot fix a wrongful conviction, the “contrition” requirement in the parole process currently functions as a quid pro quo for release. This is disproportionately punitive towards people who still maintain their innocence.
He was the only man with the power to unite my militant black power group and his civil rights movement. Then, 49 years ago today, a single bullet changed history. By John Burl Smith, as told to Ruth Hopkins
Ruth Hopkins reflects on her recent visit to the United States of America, where processes of truth telling reminded her of its history of slavery and lynching. She learned that it can actually be destructive not to acknowledge the pains, horrors and atrocities of the past.
The Western Cape High Court decided on Monday that the conditions in Pollsmoor Remand (awaiting trial) detention facility are unconstitutional. Lawyers for Human Rights and Sonke Gender Justice filed the complaint with the court, claiming that the severe overcrowding – the facility is approximately 300 % over its capacity – and inhumane conditions should be condemned by the court and addressed by government.
The deadly margin of error in death penalty cases should come as a salutary warning to those wanting to reinstate capital punishment in South Africa.
Consider the case of Anthony Ray Hinton from Alabama, US.
Gregory Bright, who spent 27 years in Angola for a crime he did not commit, agrees. “There were always guys who came back injured from the rodeo,” he says. “One guy had severe kidney problems after he was attacked by one of the bulls. He later died from complications. No one talks about that.”
My friend and New York attorney Beena Ahmad– who worked for nearly a year with the Wits Justice Project – had a quirky habit. In her neighbourhood in Brooklyn, with great enthusiasm, she picked up books that people left out on the street. Sometimes I would share her joy, like when she picked up a battered copy of Long Walk to Freedom, placed on a garden wall. Other finds, like Form Your Own Limited Liability Company, for example, didn’t seem quite as riveting.