SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's Supreme Court on Thursday reached a narrow decision that could release almost 5,000 inmates who are still appealing their convictions, including jailed former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
The court decided in a 6-5 vote that a person can be imprisoned only after all appeals to higher courts have been exhausted. The tie-breaking vote was cast by Chief Justice José Dias Toffoli.
The decision appears to cover Da Silva and others convicted in cases arising from the sprawling "Car Wash" corruption investigation, which has ensnared dozens of top politicians and business leaders in Latin America's biggest nation.
The Supreme Court's debate began in mid-October and its result could throw Brazil's political landscape int