Body of law that defines criminal offenses, regulates the apprehension, charging, and trial of suspected offenders, and fixes punishment for convicted persons. Substantive criminal law defines particular crimes, and procedural law establishes rules for the prosecution of crime. In the U.S., substantive criminal law originated for the most part in common law, which was later codified in federal and state statutes. Modern criminal law has been affected considerably by the social sciences, especially in the areas of sentencing, legal research, legislation, and rehabilitation. Seealso criminology.
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International organization whose purpose is to fight international crime. Interpol promotes the widest possible mutual assistance between the criminal police authorities of affiliated countries and seeks to establish and develop all institutions likely to contribute effectively to the prevention and suppression of ordinary crime. The organization traces its history to 1914, when a congress of international criminal police, attended by delegates from 14 countries, was held in Monaco. Interpol was formally founded in Austria in 1923 with 20 member countries; after World War II its headquarters moved to Paris and, in 1989, to Lyon, France. By the early 21st century, its membership exceeded 180 countries. Interpol pursues criminals who operate in more than one country (e.g., smugglers), those who stay in one country but whose crimes affect other countries (e.g., counterfeiters of foreign currency), and those who commit a crime in one country and flee to another.
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Permanent judicial body established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998) to prosecute individuals accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The court commenced operations on July 1, 2002, after the requisite number of countries (60) ratified the Rome Statute (some 140 countries signed the agreement). The ICC was established as a court of last resort to prosecute the most heinous offenses in cases where national courts fail to act. It is headquartered in The Hague. By 2002 China, Russia, and the U.S. had declined to participate in the ICC, and the U.S. had campaigned actively to have its citizens exempted from the court's jurisdiction.
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Francisco Antonio García López (1943 - 1995), also known as Toño Bicicleta (or Bicycle Tony, in English), was a Puerto Rican criminal famous for escaping from jail several times. García managed to become part of Puerto Rican lore and the object of constant references in popular culture. His escapes have become some sort of local legend in Puerto Rico.
In 1974, García was again captured by a civilian in a farm in the town of Bayamón, Puerto Rico He was incarcerated in the prison of Sabana Hoyos in Arecibo, Puerto Rico until 1981 when he escaped again.
His numerous escapes helped him become part of the local lore. Allegedly, during his escapes he would continue committing rape and kidnappings. However, some people claim that due to his notoriety he was used as some sort of scapegoat both by authorities and civilians to several crimes in the island.
In 1983, García escaped for the seventh and last time. That time, he was able to stay on the loose for 12 years before being caught. In 1987, he killed his uncle and stepfather. That same year, García killed Luis Rodríguez and kidnapped his girlfriend, Diana Pérez Lebrón. The woman stayed with the criminal for eight years and was with him at the moment of his last showdown with authorities.
García's burial was attended by close to 3,000 people curious to see the most notorious criminal of the island in the 20th Century.