Over 400 prisoners released due to Pope amnesty

Written By Manuel Poças

The Portuguese law that brought the Papal Amnesty into effect already liberated more than 400 prisoners since the beginning of the month.

The law, which came into effect on September 1st, 2023, almost one month after the Pope’s visit to the country, already led to the release of 408 young convicts.

According to the relevant authorities, in this case, the number is not definitive. There are still many judicial processes and cases being evaluated. Thus, the number of young convicts being released, and pardoned tickets, will continue to grow.

For the time being, there were already 116 releases in Lisbon, 74 in Porto, 32 in Azores, 29 in Aveiro, 23 in Braga and Leiria, 21 in Faro, 20 in Santarém, 13 in Setúbal, 11 in Coimbra, 10 in Madeira, 9 in Viseu, 7 in Guarda, 6 in Vila Real, 4 in Viana do Castelo and in Portalegre, and 3 in Évora and in Beja.

Note that there are some cases where the convicts remain incarcerated due to previous pending processes that are not covered by the new law. Notwithstanding, the General Director of the Portuguese Prisons did not expect the release of so many inmates.

The law covers crimes and infractions practiced by individuals between 16 and 30 years old until June 19th, 2023. Most infractions are pardoned, and those sentenced to jail for less than 1 year are released. Note, however, that the law excluded serious crimes, and tickets above 1.000 euros.

It is worth mentioning that this law will lead to the release of the young man who planned an attack on the University of Lisbon in February last year. Despite his intention, he was not convicted of terrorism nor of attempted terrorism.

He was sentenced to 2 years and 9 months for possession of an illegal weapon, which he has been serving at the Caxias’ Prison Hospital. Because of the new law, he got his sentence reduced by 1 year and will be released on November 19, 2023.

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