Q: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported the arrest of the Pope's butler for stealing documents and investigation by Vatican City law enforcement agents. I didn't know the Vatican had a law enforcement arm. Does it also have a court system and jail, or do they turn suspected criminals over to Italian officials?
—Frank Manfre, Grayson
A: Vatican City has a police force and trials are held in the 108-acre city-state, which has a chief prosecutor, called the promoter of justice, trial court judges, a three-judge court of appeals and even a Supreme Court, according to published reports. Vatican City’s criminal justice system is modeled on the system used by Italy, but there are no jury trials because with only about 800 citizens, the pool is too small. The Pope occasionally turns trials over to Italian officials, Slate.com reported, and most crimes tried in Vatican City are minor and result in a fine, not prison sentence. The Vatican doesn’t have a jail, and Paolo Gabriele, the Pope’s butler, is being held in one of four safe rooms in its police station, according to Reuters.
Q: A recent story in the AJC reported that positions called graduation coach and graduation specialist were being abolished in DeKalb County. What are/were the duties of people in those positions?
—Jack Pierce, Stone Mountain
A: The DeKalb County School District’s website describes the position as professionals who “are dedicated to providing additional support for students to move towards successful high school graduation. Graduation coaches work collaboratively with school counseling and administrative departments of schools to identify sources of support for at-risk students” in middle and high schools.
Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (include name, phone and city).