The head of Brazil’s Supreme Court partially suspended Christmas pardons granted to convicted criminals by President Michel Temer, after the country’s top prosecutor argued some of them were unconstitutional and threatened the country’s long-running graft investigation.
In a break from tradition, on Dec. 21 Temer loosened the rules for granting pardons, extending them to include people convicted of corruption-related crimes, Reuters reported. The move was widely criticized by public prosecutors and on social media.
Justice Minister Torquato Jardim told Reuters that the ministry would seek to rejig the pardons to allow them to go into effect, despite the judge’s ruling.
Temer’s decree reduced the portion of their sentence that non-violent, first-time offenders must have served before being eligible for a pardon from one-quarter to one-fifth of the total sentence. And he extended the rules to include prisoners who have been sentenced to terms longer than 12 years.
In a newspaper editorial, Jardim claimed the changes were intended to allow pardons for people like the more than 70,000 jailed for theft and not the 50 or so imprisoned for corruption.Pardon Me?