They had an oppressive government and a system of justice that, by the standards of the Federation, was cruel, draconian and inhumane. In this system, once a person was convicted of a crime, the conviction could not be overturned, even if conclusive evidence that proves his innocence was uncovered. The person in question would still be sentenced to life in a brutal prison, the Akritirian maximum security detention facility. There the prisoners were induced to kill each other through synaptic manipulation.
In 2373, Ensign Harry Kim and Lieutenant junior grade Tom Paris, respectively the Operations officer and Flight Controller on the Federation starship USS Voyager, were accused by the Akritirian authorities of carrying out an Open Sky bombing and imprisoned in the Akritirian maximum security detention facility. When Voyager's captain, Kathryn Janeway, captured the actual persons behind the bombing, the Akritirian ambassador, Liria, refused to have Paris and Kim released due to Akritirian court convictions' irreversibility. Captain Janeway led a mission to rescue the two officers, after which Voyager quickly left Akritirian space. (VOY: "The Chute")