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Opinion by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Thursday, March 22nd Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) held a vote on a petition for habeas corpus filed by former President Lula. The close vote (6-5) technically only frees Lula from prison until April 4th when STF will debate the merits of Lula’s motion.

In practice, however, the decision presages the death of the Lava Jato investigations and the return of impunity for corrupt politicians.

From 1889 until 2009, Brazilian criminal law statutes determined that, upon conviction, criminals went to jail. They could still appeal, or seek a writ . . .

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