Top Brazil court ends early prison rule in decision that could free Lula

Brazil’s Supreme Court decided on Thursday to end the mandatory imprisonment of convicted criminals after they lose their first appeal, a politically charged ruling that may lead to the release of former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The reinterpretation of Brazil’s penal code, allowing convicts to exhaust their appeal options before being locked up, could benefit dozens of high-profile prisoners, among them Lula, jailed last year for taking bribes.

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