Criminal justice

18 de April, 2023

Archive of a legal-psychiatric abduction: the case of Juvenal

“On the morning of May 29, 1968, at Sítio Morada Nova, the defendant ended up violently wounding his own brother using a mower.” This was the scene narrated by the prosecution. The man was Juvenal Raimundo de Araújo, perhaps Juvenal Raimundo da Silva. Not even his name was known for sure, because he refused to speak, had no civil documents, and was insane. Because of his violent act, he was committed to a psychiatric institution, supposedly so he could be treated, and never returned to freedom. He remained confined for 46 years. This is not a fictional story. It is a story of injustice analyzed in this book, the first of a series called Bioethics and Health. Juvenal was the man who spent the longest time committed to a mental institution in Brazil, abandoned while waiting for an official decision about his case, banished from social interaction and any recognition of rights. If for the Brazilian Judiciary the limit for an imprisonment sentence is 30 years, what happened there during all that time? The author sought to answer this question by analyzing Juvenal’s dossier, which was under the custody of the mental institution. She pored over the archive to carry out an analysis of discursive practices of knowledge and power about Juvenal. This study reveals the “abandonment machine that confiscated Juvenal’s existence”.

Link de origem

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