Social Representations of Homicide Investigations by Judges, Prosecutors and Police: A Case Study from the Metropolitan Area of Brasilia
This article examines homicide in the Metropolitan Area of Brasilia (MAB), analysing social representations from elites in the criminal justice system, including police chiefs, prosecutors and judges. It draws on the theory of social representations (TSR) to explore the imaginaries constructed around the criminal justice system’s inability to adequately investigate the rise in homicides. The representations from focus group participants highlight a lack of resources, infrastructure, equipment and human resources, as well as unsatisfactory working conditions. In seeking to understand and situate themselves in new realities and contexts, these elite criminal justice actors ultimately place themselves within the available reserve of knowledge, in which they claim that ‘nothing works’. Hence, this enables these powerful actors to justify themselves and blame others, while denying their inability to adequately investigate homicides. A hidden rationale emerges that represents the homicide victims of drug crimes and gang feuds as unworthy of investigation.
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