what will be judged by a popular jury in Mendoza

what will be judged by a popular jury in Mendoza
what will be judged by a popular jury in Mendoza

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The new crimes that will be tried by the people

The new rule incorporates that trials by popular juries will also be carried out in cases of crimes provided for in articles 79 and 166, paragraph 1 of the Penal Code.

“When an event has shocked a community in such a way that an impartial jury could not reasonably be obtained, the Judge may order, only at the request of the accused, in a public hearing, with the intervention of all the parties and by means of a founded order, that raffle jurors from a judicial district of the province other than the one in which the criminal act occurred,” reads the article as it was worded in the previous rule.

Those new crimes who will now be judged by the people are the simple homicide, article 79; and serious or very serious injuries caused by violence used to carry out a robbery, of article 166, paragraph 1.

These types of injuries are detailed in articles 90 and 91 and refer to “a permanent weakening of health, of a sense, of an organ, of a member or a permanent difficulty of speech or if it has endangered life of the offended party, would have made him unfit for work for more than a month or would have caused permanent deformation of the face”; or “if the injury produces a mental or bodily illness, certain or probably incurable, permanent uselessness for work, loss of a sense, of an organ, of a limb, of the use of an organ or limb, of speech or of the capacity to engender or conceive”.

Trial by jury was already in force for cases such as homicide with the use of a firearm, homicide qualified under article 80, sexual abuse with carnal access followed by death, and homicides that occurred during robbery.

The case of death caused by a traffic accident

By incorporating simple homicide into the law, it is possible for drunk drivers or drivers under the influence of chemical substances who cause the death of another in an accident to be prosecuted by jury trials.

To do this, the cover of the process must be that of simple homicide with possible intent and not that of culpable homicide, so the possibility of whether or not it reaches the popular trial will lie in the work of the prosecutor.

Possible intent implies that the person responsible for the crime is aware of the damages and the results that may arise from his or her conduct and accepts them. In the case of certain traffic accidents it could be drunk driving at high speed.

The difficult thing during the process is to prove that the accused actually represented it that way and that he persisted in his actions.

The last relevant case that was labeled this way, at least at the time of the accusation, is that of Hugo Martin Rodriguezthe sommelier who ran over and killed a police officer and a traffic agent on the South Access while driving at high speed, on the shoulder, with 2.68 g/l of alcohol.

Hugo Martín Rodríguez.jpg

Hugo Rodríguez, the protagonist of the accident in Godoy Cruz.

While a year ago, The doctor José Paulos was released after a favorable resolution from the Supreme Court of Justice. In it, the ministers granted the appeal filed by the defense and changed the title from simple homicide with possible intent with which he was sentenced, to aggravated manslaughter.

Yes, two other historic cases were confirmed by the Courtthat of the Chilean Turbus driver and that of the young man who drove drunk and at excessive speed, crashing into a pole on the North Access.

Francisco Sanhueza, who was involved in the accident on February 18, 2017 in which 19 people died and 21 were injured when it overturned on a curve on Route 7, in Horcones, at 100 km/h, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for simple homicide with possible intent more disqualification. The following year, the Supreme Court made the ruling final with that qualification.

The same thing happened in the case of the 10-year prison sentence against Javier Colaiacovo, for the accident in Las Heras where Marianela Pulliti died in 2019.

In the failure of the Supreme Court, The ministers José Valerio, Mario Adaro and Omar Palermo rejected all the defense proposals and confirmed the conviction.

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