Van Der Sloot Faces Long Wait in Desolate Peruvian Prison System

"Lurigancho is the worst prison I have ever been in, hands down,'' he said. "While I was talking to my client, 10 feet away from me, one prisoner stabbed another prisoner."

In Lima, where just 64 defense lawyers handle 16,000 cases, average wait time before trial is more than four years. Trials, by a panel of judges -- there are no jury trials in Peru -- often last more than a year.

If convicted, van der Sloot may have more to worry about than where he serves. The killing of Stephany Flores Ramirez has touched a nerve among Peruvians, and some have suggested the very real possibility of prison justice.

"I think they gonna have to have some sort of surveillance over him, to keep people from getting to him,'' Monteblanco said.

Those who knew Flores Ramirez have little sympathy for what could await van der Sloot in prison.

"I expect from them to at least give him a life sentence, but, I'm pretty sure he's going to get killed before that,'' said Stephanie Jimenez, a close friend of the victim. "Because that's jail and he's going to pay for it. And, who knows what else they're going to do to him. And, you know what? He deserves it."

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