French President Hollande pardons woman who killed violently abusive husband

French President Francois Hollande has given in to the public pressure to pardon Jacqueline Sauvage, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison after killing the husband that violently abused her and her children for decades. “In the face of an exceptional human situation, the president wanted to make it possible for (Jacqueline) Sauvage to return to her family as soon as possible,” the presidency said in a statement.

In 2012, Sauvage shot her husband, a violent alcoholic who had repeatedly raped and beaten her and her three daughters, as well as abused her son (who committed suicide the day before her husband’s death). Because the killing did not fit the French legal definition of self-defense (which has to be proportional and in direct response to an act of aggression), she was found guilty of murder, a verdict that was upheld in the court of appeals in December 2015.

She became a symbol of the fight against domestic violence, with several organizations taking up her cause and more than 400,000 people signing a petition demanding her release. The exceptional presidential pardon comes days after Hollande met with Sauvage’s three daughters and her lawyers, and means that she will be allowed to leave prison in mid-April, after having spent nearly three years behind bars.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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