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The poor are also victims of a slow and onerous criminal justice system. In 1990, ILD research revealed that 13,595 prisoners —75% of the prison population— had not been tried. Worse, many of these prisoners had already served jail terms that were longer than those set by law for the crimes they had allegedly committed.

The ILD proposed a legal alternative to President Fujimori —the pardon of untried prisoners. Supreme Decree 017-90-JUS approved this pardon in September 1990. Thanks to this pardon and under ILD supervision, a total of 4,000 prisoners —30% of the prisoners behind bars without trial— were set free. The pardon, however, did not apply to such offenses as drug trafficking, terrorism, child molestation or homicide. The Penal Procedure Code incorporated the fundamental principles of the ILD’s proposal. Currently there is a special Civil Committee that evaluates the prison population —based on precedents that were set by the ILD— and recommends to the President the release of unjustly jailed or untried prisoners.

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