In Mexico, Rehearsing to Inject Drama Into the Courtroom

The New York Times, 8/27/12

Four years ago, Mexico’s Congress adopted a legal overhaulthat will enable prosecutors and defense lawyers to present evidence and question witnesses in open court, a practice that already exists in a few states but whose rollout is scheduled to be completed nationwide by 2016.

More open trials, the theory goes, will increase due process and accountability in a country where the much-publicized arrests of cartel bosses are common, but the actual convictions of criminals are not. Fewer than a quarter of crimes in Mexico are reported and over all, just 2 percent result in sentences, according to a 2010 report by the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego.

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