French president pardons woman convicted of killing abusive husband

Paris: French president Francois Hollande has pardoned a woman who was sentenced to 10 years in jail for killing her husband after decades of abuse.The pardon granted by Hollande amounts to a reduction of Jacqueline
french president pardons woman convicted of...
India TV News Desk February 02, 2016 15:10 IST

Paris: French president Francois Hollande has pardoned a woman who was sentenced to 10 years in jail for killing her husband after decades of abuse.

The pardon granted by Hollande amounts to a reduction of Jacqueline Sauvage's sentence that will allow the 68-year-old to leave prison in mid-April, her lawyers said.

The rare gesture came amid growing public sympathy and just two days after the president met for the first time with Sauvage's three daughters and her lawyers on Friday.

“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.

Earlier, her sentence was upheld on appeal in December 2015 as the state rejected her plea of self-defence.

Sauvage was married for 47 years to Norbert Marot, a violent alcoholic who she said raped and beat her and her three daughters and also abused her son.

On September 10, 2012, the day after her son hanged himself, Sauvage shot her husband three times in the back with a rifle.

She was faulted for her passivity faced with the violence and incest carried out by her husband.
“We were afraid of him, he terrified us,” one of her daughters told the court.

Another of her daughters, raped at the age of 16, described her father's death as a “relief”.

Sauvage's case has cast a spotlight on the tricky and controversial legal argument known as “battered woman syndrome”.

The case drew a wave of support, from women's groups, politicians and sympathizers around France with a petition signed by tens of thousands.

Sauvage's case had become a cause célèbre in France, with more than 400,000 people signing a petition demanding her release.

 
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