In 19 August’s edition, Jornal de Notícias quoted the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ), in which judges argue it was the “violent emotion of misery pregnancy that really” dominated the action of the woman, recalling that “what it seems to be "criminal" malice aforethought will only certainly be the result of confusion."
Last week, the Público newspaper had already released the STJ's decision, advancing that Sara Furtado would be released in September.
Contacted on 19 August by Lusa News Agency, the women's defense lawyer, Rute Santos, confirmed the decision of the STJ.
Sara Furtado had been sentenced in October 2020 to nine years in prison for attempted aggravated homicide, after abandoning her newborn son in a garbage can in the Santa Apolónia area, in November 2019.
"A person with difficulties in directing her life, in having clear ideas, does not seem to be able to identify with the icy rationalism of such a clearly mental delinquent", can be read in the judgment of the STJ.
Lawyer Varela de Matos, who was part of a group of lawyers who presented in November 2019 a request for the immediate release ('habeas corpus') of Sara Furtado, used social media to applaud the STJ's decision.
“Finally, the Supreme Court of Justice, through the penalty of the Councilors, Teresa Féria and Paulo Ferreira da Cunha, issued a decision. It says what we said two years ago, and what was the arguments of 'habeas corpus': A 20-year-old girl, in those circumstances of time, place and manner, had a disturbed and diminished conscience in the act she practiced", she wrote.
On 5 November, 2019, authorities received the alert regarding a newborn found in a garbage can on Avenida Infante D. Henrique, near the river station.
The newborn was found by a homeless man, still with traces of the umbilical cord, and was taken to Hospital Dona Estefânia, in Lisbon. He was later transferred to the Alfredo da Costa Maternity Hospital as he did not need complex medical and surgical care.
At the time, the Lisbon District Prosecutor office that "it was enough to prove that the defendant, 36 weeks pregnant and in labour", gave birth to the baby in Santa Apolónia, "put the newborn in a bag plastic, together with the other tissues expelled at the time of delivery, and placed it inside a yellow trash, then leaving the place".
The president of the Child Support Institute (IAC) argued that the young woman exposed the baby to abandonment, without wanting to kill him.
According to Dulce Rocha, the woman was in a situation of vulnerability that led her to abandon her child.
The president of the IAC also mentioned that there were no signs, such as injuries or signs of suffocation that pointed to attempted murder.
Court reduces sentence of woman who abandoned newborn in a bin
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