House Arrest

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House Arrest

Confinement to one's home or another specified location instead of incarceration in a jail or prison.

House arrest has been used since ancient times as an alternative to criminal imprisonment, often imposed upon people who either were too powerful or too influential to be placed in an actual prison. Hereditary rulers, religious leaders, and political figures, whose imprisonment might spur a revolt by loyalists, would be confined to their homes where they could live comfortably and safely but without any influence. House arrest does not always lessen its victims' influence, however. Aung San Suu Kyi, a political leader from Myanmar, was placed under house arrest from 1989 to 1995, and again, from 2000 to 2002, by the nation's military junta. On both occasions the international community successfully exerted pressure on the government to release Suu Kyi, a peace activist and Nobel laureate.

The term house arrest can also refer to electronic monitoring programs in which a convicted criminal is sentenced to home confinement instead of prison, for a specified period. The criminal wears an electronic ankle bracelet (for which he usually bears maintenance costs) that monitors movement and sends a signal to a central computer if the house arrest is violated. Examples of crimes that could warrant house arrest include white-collar crimes such as Fraud or Embezzlement. This type of sentence can be a cost-effective way of punishing criminals who pose no threat to others and thus do not need to be imprisoned at the state's expense.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
On July 28, the Fars news agency, which is linked to the Pasdaran, published a commentary stating that, if the report were true, it meant the opposition leaders had agreed not to break the law and their freedom "would not cause insecurity in society." Khamenehi has reportedly made that a requirement for the trio's release from house arrest, but they have never agreed to it.
Caption: DETAINED--From left, former Prime Minister Mir-Hossain Musavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, and former Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karrubi have been under house arrest for seven years now.
The Interior Ministry had decided in November 2015 to place under house arrest several individuals classified as "dangerous" by security units.
Western powers and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have repeatedly urged Tehran to release them from house arrest and Iranian reformists have echoed those appeals.
"The continuing house arrest and detention of these opposition figures is indicative of the continued repression and intolerance of government authorities toward dissent in Iran," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
Officials later released Fatemeh Karrubi from house arrest.
He also said that Iran's Judiciary would not place anyone under house arrest without trial and court order, and that the public would soon learn of the charges against the detainees.
Since then the authorities have released Fatemeh Karroubi from house arrest, but increased the restrictions on the remaining three, the paper said.
Some legal experts differed with that opinion, saying that the Chihuahua decision sets a precedent that could be used by civil rights advocates elsewhere in Mexico to present similar challenges to the SCJN, as legal codes governing house arrest differ little among Mexico's 30 states and the federal district.
"This is a judicial decision that will have to be respected by any district judge when considering a case involving house arrest," constitutional expert Arturo Zaldivar told the Mexico City daily newspaper La Jornada.
Some members of Congress have joined the opposition to house arrest, particularly legislators from the former governing Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).
Guellali said she met some people under house arrest for terrorism-related crimes, while the house-arrest decisions have no relation with the prosecution.