Power

Lula released after Supreme Court ruling. What changes in Brazilian politics?

free lula
“Free Lula” demonstrators. Photo: Paulo Pinto/FP

In an unsurprising finish, the Brazilian Supreme Court decided—by a narrow 6-5 vote—that prison sentences in the country may only be enforced after all appeals routes have been exhausted. Between 2016 and last night, the court understood that defendants could go to jail after losing their first appeal.

The decision should affect almost 5,000 convicted felons, none as high-profile as former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Convicted of corruption and money laundering, the politician was released less than 24 hours after the Supreme Court verdict was proclaimed.

What does a free Lula mean for Brazilian politics?

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