On Tuesday afternoon, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva saw his prison sentence reduced by the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), Brazil’s second-highest tribunal. In a unanimous ruling, judges decided to lower Lula’s punishment for the crimes of corruption and money laundering from 12 years, 1 month, and 20 days, to 8 years, 10 months, and 20 days. According to Brazilian law, the move could see the ex-president leave jail and be placed under house arrest later this year.
Brazil’s penal code allows for progressive sentencing, where convicts can move to less restrictive prison regimes after serving a certain portion of their total punishment. For first-time offenders, as is the case of Lula, prisoners may be transferred to minimum security facilities after completing one-sixth of their sentence, with good behavior. As Lula has already served just over one year in prison, he would be eligible for this sentence progression come September of this year.