In April 2005, Carlos Velloso ruled on one of the strangest cases he can remember. In his decades-long career, Velloso had served on some of Brazil’s most important courts before arriving to the Supreme Court in 1990. And yet, despite his weighty title of Supreme Court Justice, he had to rule on the man standing before him, known as case HC 85066. The defendant was accused of killing a pregnant dog and shooting a parrot.
“The parrot-killer case was the weirdest I’ve had to rule on, but it wasn’t the only one of such nature,” says Velloso, who served in the Supreme Court from 1990 to 2006 and as chief justice from 1999 to 2001. “It’s a shame to see the country’s most brilliant jurists wasting their time with cases like domestic disputes. They should be writing our legal history instead,” he says.
A parrot. A dog. In the Supreme Court. If it all sounds a bit strange, it’s because it is.