Brazil top court delays decision on blocking prison for ex-president Lula

Brazil’s Supreme Court decided that leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva cannot be sent to prison for a corruption conviction until he exhausts all possible appeals. About that:

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood: if they be repealed or revised before they are promulg[at]ed, or undergo such incessant changes, that no man who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be tomorrow.” – James Madison (16 March 1751 – 28 June 1836), fourth President of the United States (1809–1817), co-author, with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, of the Federalist Papers, and traditionally regarded as the Father of the United States Constitution.

“Brazil is not for beginners.” – Antônio Carlos Jobim (January 25, 1927 – December 8, 1994), also known as Tom Jobim, Brazilian composer, pianist, songwriter, arranger, and singer. Widely considered as one of the great exponents of Brazilian music.

6 thoughts on “Brazil top court delays decision on blocking prison for ex-president Lula

  1. Bruno’s information (A) is not correct and (B) even if it was correct, it would implies unconstitutionality.
    (A) What Brazil’s Supreme Court decided was not to accept Lula’s habeas corpus act nor as a consequence to apply the article 5 of constitution, which determines that someone only can be emprisoned if and only if the criminal sentence is definitive and unappealable. What Brazil’s Supreme Court decided was the admissibility of Lula’s habeas corpus act for further discussion about its validity. Such decision implied the impossibility of Lula’s prison until the decision if the Lula’s habeas corpus act is valid or not.

    (B) Bruno’s message isn’t in accord with Brazil’s constitution. The objectively juridical correct argument is the following.
    (1) Article 5 of Brazil´s constitution is very clear: nobody can be emprisoned until the criminal sentence is definitively, irreparably and unappealably judged (http://www.tjdft.jus.br/acesso-rapido/informacoes/vocabulario-juridico/entendendo-o-judiciario/transito-em-julgado).
    (2) Lula was judged guilty by the first and second instances of legal system. But it is possible to Lula to appeal to the Supreme Federal Court.
    (3) The appeal to Supreme Federal Court can have devolutive (but no suspensive) effect. A possible devolutive effect to the lower instance could produce sentence´s revision.
    (4) From (2) and (3) we have that Lula’s sentence is appealable, not definitive and is reparable.
    (5) From (1) and (4) we have that Lula cannot be emprisoned.

    The problem is that some years ago the Supreme Federal Court informally decided that it is possible to emprison someone that was judged guilty by the second legal instance. That is the case of Lula and many other brazilians. But about that we have two problems: (1) such court´s decision was not formally published and then cannot legally be considered a jurisprudence; then it needs another discussion in order to be established as jurisprudence; (2) such court’s informal decision is evidently unconstitutional because of the content of Constitution´s article 5 cited above.

    Lula deserves his habeas corpus in objectively legal basis (by hermeneutical constrains), but also because of such abusive and political manipulation of legal instruments by a network of right-wing agents in order to keeps him away from elections and, in ultimate instance, in order to delegitimize left-wing models of economic political management based on correlation between Welfare State and weak-mode neoliberalism. Sergio Moro’s (the judge of first legal instance that condemned Lula) sentence is not unanimously considered accurate by the juridical community. There are many fallacies and flaws in Moro´s sentence, which doesn’t established any unquestionable empirical validation (I will not comment this here, in order to not extend this reply to Bruno). Other point about Moro is that it was documentally proved that he obstructed, with a false justification, Lula’s defense through negating to him the defense´s testimony of Tacla Duran (again, if someone want details about that, I can comment in another reply, because that replay is already extensive).

    I´m a liberal leftist, but in order to avoid confirmation bias and to keep track of right-wing argumentation, and in order to keep my mind always open to belief revision, I follow notesonliberty and other right-wing sites that deserves respect.

      • The Supreme Court decided only the admissibility of Lula’s habeas corpus act. In April 4 it will decide if Lula’s habeas corpus act is valid or not.

        You said: “Brazil’s Supreme Court decided that leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva cannot be sent to prison for a corruption conviction until he exhausts all possible appeals.”
        Your affirmation implies that the Supreme Court decided that imprisonment after second legal instance’s condemnation (by TRF-4) is ilegal or unconstitutional. If the Supreme Court had decided this, then it would be correct to say that it decided that “Lula da Silva cannot be sent to prison for a corruption conviction until he exhausts all possible appeals”, because after second legal instance’s condemnation is possible to appeal to higher legal instances. Such decision probably will be (re)considered further by Supreme Court.
        The Supreme Court decided only the admissibility of Lula’s habeas corpus act against his immediate imprisonment after the judgment of Lula’s defense resources against the second legal instance’s condemnation. In April 4 it will decide if Lula’s habeas corpus act is valid or not. Such habeas corpus decision is an indication about how the court’s judges will decide again about prison after second legal instance’s condemnation, But only an indication. Many factors (specially midiatic manipulation/pressures ones) can interfere and alter this expectation.

        Observation: it is absurd to judge habeas corpus’ admissibility, because it is a priori admissible, i.e., all habeas corpus act of anyone need to be judged by the court.

        Your Madison´s citation makes clear that you think that Lula is unconstitutionally being favored by the Supreme Court (by ‘casuísmo’), and this is also incorrect, as my point (B) makes clear, because of the implications of the article 5 (LVII) of Brazil’s Constitution. This Constitution ensures freedom to Lula until the execution of all appeals (until “trânsito em julgado” as this concept is defined in the article 5 (LVII)). The right-wing mainstream media is manipulating that information by low-frequency exposition of it and by avoiding systematic discussion of it, selecting other points to distract public opinion. Disgusting.

      • Observation: the “disgusting” in my text refers to right-wing mainstream media, not to you.

      • Dear reader, I thank you for your attention and for your care to point all these details about Brazilian law and current state of affairs. However, you are wrong. I assure that you are reading way too much into my text. My point was simply that Brazilian law is way too complicated and that because of that judges themselves can’t agree on what to do.

  2. Then I wrongly interpreted your intention with the Madison’s citation. Sorry for that. Thank you also, all the best.

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