The Third Section of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) confirmed on Wednesday (14) a decision that, in April, ordered the release of all prisoners in the country who had their freedom conditional on the payment of bail – regardless of whether the amount was paid .
The decisions were motivated by the new coronavirus pandemic. In April, reporting rapporteur Sebastião Reis Júnior had already granted the benefit to prisoners across the country. The determination was motivated by a request from the Public Defender’s Office of Espírito Santo.
This Wednesday, the Third Section analyzed the merits of the determination of Reis Júnior and confirmed the content of the determination.
In São Paulo, 5,400 prisoners were released to avoid Covid-19 in the units until September; see report
The decision is valid only for those who had their freedom conditional on the payment of bail, but remained in prison for not having deposited the defined amount.
In cases of prisoners who are complying with other precautionary measures – use of an electronic ankle bracelet, for example – the bail is canceled and the other measures continue to apply.
In the vote, the reporting minister spoke of the overcrowding of the Brazilian prison system and cited recommendations from the National Council of Justice (CNJ), the United Nations (UN) and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for the adoption of preventive measures against spread of infection by the new coronavirus.
Sebastião Reis Júnior pointed out that populations living in agglomerations “are significantly more likely to contract the disease even if protective equipment and supplies are provided to these individuals”.
“Under the terms of the National Council of Justice in its resolution, keeping the investigated in prison is not proportional, just because of the failure to pay the bail, since the cases do not reveal the exceptional exceptionality required for the preventive decree” , said the rapporteur.
The minister also said that the risk of contagion due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus is similar across the country, “as is the situation of overcrowding and unhealthy conditions in Brazilian prisons, which is why the effects of this decision must be extended to the entire territory. national”.
The vote was followed by all members of the Section, and the result, unanimously proclaimed.