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September 23rd, 2017

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Latest Human Rights

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published July 17, 2017

Latest Human Rights

Convicted murderer Philip Smith (a veteran criminal serving life for killing the father of a boy Smith had been sexually abusing) escaped from prison in New Zealand with the help of a disguise that included a toupee for his bald head -- before being caught. Prison officials confiscated the toupee, but Smith said a shiny head behind bars made him feel "belittled, degraded and humiliated" and sued for the right to keep the toupee. (In March, in a rare case in which a litigant succeeds as his own lawyer, Smith prevailed in Auckland's High Court.) [BBC News, 3-16-2017]

In March, star soccer goalkeepr Bruno Fernandes de Souza signed a two-year contract to play for Brazil's Boa Esporte club while he awaits the outcome of his appealed conviction for the 2010 murder of his girlfriend. (He had also fed her body to his dogs.) He had been sentenced to 22 years in prison, but was released by a judge after seven, based on the judge's exasperation at the years-long delays in appeals in Brazil's sluggish legal system. [The Guardian (London), 3-13-2017]

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