Supreme Court Bars Imprisonment after A Second Instance, and Lula Could Be Released

President of the Court, Toffoli breaks trial score and votes against execution of sentence before all appeals are exhausted

Reynaldo Turollo Jr. Ricardo Coletta

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday (7), six votes to five, that a convict can only be imprisoned after the final judgment--the end of appeals. This changes the case law that since 2016 has allowed arrest after conviction in the second instance.

The decisive vote came from the Supreme President, Dias Toffoli, who accompanied the ministers Marco Aurélio, rapporteur of the actions on the subject, Rosa Weber, Ricardo Lewandowski, Gilmar Mendes, and Celso de Mello, forming the majority.

Dias Toffoli (Foto: Renato Costa/FramePhoto/Folhapress) - 5416

The decision, one of the most awaited in recent years, has the potential to benefit about 5,000 prisoners, according to the National Justice Council (CNJ), including the most celebrated of them, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT). Brazil has a total of approximately 800,000 prisoners.

Lula's defense has already said it will request the release of Lula on Friday (8). The Car Wash task force said the Supreme Court ruling contradicts the "feeling of repudiation of impunity" and the fight against corruption in the country.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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