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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Here's A Peek Inside Vatican City's One-Of-A-Kind Criminal Justice System

•, Erin Fuchs
 The Vatican, an independent enclave of Rome, by its very nature blurs the line between church and state, according to this NYU guide on Vatican law.

The three judges on the Vatican's highest court are all relatively high-ranking officials with the church.

While it might seem unusual to have church officials serve as judges, many of the other differences between the Vatican's criminal justice system and other country's stem from the Vatican's small size, Slate reported in May.

With only 900 residents, the Vatican has such a small prospective pool of jurors that it doesn't hold jury trials. The city only has one tiny jail, which it uses to detain defendants before their trials, according to Slate.

Consequently, a lot of defendants receive fines instead of jail time.

Those who are hit with longer jail sentences are usually shipped off to Italian prisons at the Pope's expense, according to Slate.

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