with respect to the new charges, to present evidence relating to the crime of murder, or to challenge, in any practical or effective manner, the accusations that led him to be classified as “dangerous.” They maintain that it was the defenselessness to which the alleged victim was subjected that gave rise to the radical infringement of the minimum guarantees due to all persons tried in criminal proceedings, particularly when the trial culminates with a capital sentence. 14. Secondly, the petitioners claim that the defendant was not given timely notice of his classification as dangerous, since neither the indictment, the trial commencement papers, nor the hearings referred to that determination which, in accordance with Guatemalan criminal law, represents the only circumstance under which the death penalty can be applied to the crime of murder. They point out that in order to hand down a death sentence, the defendant’s dangerousness must be proven,4 and that at no point in Mr. Ramirez’s trial did the public prosecution service make any charges regarding his dangerousness; moreover, argue the petitioners, the court was not qualified to uphold such allegations–its authority for determining the facts was limited to the charges in the indictment as heard by the defense, and so, the petitioners claim, the defense was unable to plan or carry out a strategy to refute those allegations of dangerousness. 15. The petitioners also allege a violation of the presumption of innocence which, in cases involving the death penalty, means that capital sentences cannot be handed down on the basis of assumptions that admit the possibility of a different interpretation of the facts. In the case at hand, they claim, the first-instance court did not address the facts on the basis of which it upheld the aggravating circumstances and, instead, merely referred to them as being involved. The petitioners also claim that the failure of the first-instance judgment to address the facts underlying most of the aggravating circumstances identified by the court, together with its failure to ground those circumstances in accordance with the principles of sound and critical reasoning, effectively restricted the defense’s ability to challenge relevant matters of law related to the aggravating circumstances in the special appeal and annulment remedies filed in the subsequent instances. 16. Finally, the petitioners report that the remedies pursued to appeal against the firstinstance judgment invoked the incorrect classification of the crime and the inclusion of aggravating circumstances, but given the structure of legal proceedings in Guatemala, whereby questions of fact can only be discussed in the first instance, the challenges were restricted exclusively to matters of law and ignored the questions of fact on which the aggravating circumstances were based. Ultimately, this meant that the alleged victim did not enjoy the right of judicial protection. 17. The petitioners hold that the State of Guatemala violated the provisions of Article 4 of the Convention by failing to observe the due judicial guarantees that, in cases involving the death penalty, must be upheld with much greater zeal. They refer both to the jurisprudence of the 4 Article 132 of the Criminal Code stipulates that: Murder is committed by a person who kills another: 1) Treacherously. 2) For a price, reward, promise, or in pursuit of financial gain. 3) By means of or during a flood, fire, poisoning, explosion, demolition or collapse of a building, or other contrivance capable of causing great devastation. 4) With notorious premeditation. 5) With malice. 6) With brutal perversity. 7) To prepare, facilitate, consummate, or conceal another crime, or to ensure the results thereof or immunity for self or accomplices, or because the other punishable act did not secure the result sought. 8) For purposes of terrorism or in the pursuit of terrorist activities. Those convicted of murder shall receive prison terms of between 25 and 50 years. However, the death penalty shall apply instead of the maximum prison term if the circumstances of the incident, the timing thereof, the way in which it was carried out, and the motivation behind it reveal a particularly higher level of dangerousness on the part of the perpetrator. Those not sentenced to death for this crime shall not be eligible for reductions in their sentence for any reason whatsoever. 3

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