The Supreme Court confirms the permanent reviewable prison for a woman who killed her paralyzed husband in Valencia

06/20/2022 Facade of the Supreme Court in Madrid. POLITICS Carlos Luján – Europa Press

The Supreme Court (TS) has confirmed the permanent prison sentence imposed on a woman who murdered her husband – who suffered from a degenerative disease that caused paralysis – in Valencia in 2017. The magistrates have rejected the argument that the accused He acted at the request of the victim to carry out an assisted suicide since he killed him in a “cruel” way. The Criminal Court has concluded that “the facts declared proven allow us to affirm without a doubt” that the woman “did not participate executively in the suicide of her husband, but rather she decided to end her life.” In the ruling, reported by Europa Press, the court has emphasized that “the cruel way in which the death was caused” and “the sophisticated execution plan drawn up and the way in which the body was intended to be disposed of” show that it had a “homicidal intent” that moves away from the “compassion” and “respect for autonomy and personal dignity” that characterize assisted suicide. According to the proven facts, the woman first made her husband inhale butane gas in her car, then she hit him several times that caused injuries and finally “smothered him with a shoelace.” Once he was dead, she poured caustic soda over his remains and buried them in a ditch on a rural property. In the resolution, for which Judge Javier Hernández was the rapporteur, the Supreme Court has also stressed that the proven facts also rule out that the man asked his wife in an express, serious and unequivocal manner to actively and directly cooperate in the death of he. Likewise, the magistrates have stressed that it is clear that the man expressed on some occasion his desire to die and “gathered information about euthanasia” without wanting to “involve” any family member. According to the ruling, in 2019 he enrolled in the Right to Die with Dignity Association and “decided to wait to decide on his situation until the announced legal reform that would regulate euthanasia.” In this sense, the court has highlighted that the man not only did not transfer to the appellant any express request for active cooperation in his death, but also demonstrated a solid will to exercise his personal autonomy during the process of ending the death. life. Thus, the Supreme Court has ratified the permanent, reviewable prison sentence imposed by the Superior Court of Justice of Valencia, which increased the 25-year prison sentence imposed in the first instance by the Provincial Court, taking into consideration the special vulnerability of the victim linked to his serious and intense disability. SEES SPECIAL VULNERABILITY IN THE VICTIM The high court has considered that the permanent prison sentence that can be reviewed does not represent a violation of the ‘non bis in idem’ principle – which prohibits punishing the same act twice – although treachery has been appreciated due to helplessness for qualify the murder. The magistrates recalled that “the legislator has selected, among the different types of murder in which the perpetrator takes advantage of the victim’s natural inability to react defensively, a very unique social group, namely, the most vulnerable people.” and, precisely for this reason, more in need of protection”. “The malicious death of a person who is especially vulnerable due to his disability – which, in the case, prevented him from all mobility – will always be more serious than the malicious death of another person who is not especially vulnerable who is murdered, for example, while sleeping or is under the influence of substances that cloud him,” the court explained. According to the ruling, the man suffered from degenerative cerebellar ataxia, with a degree of physical disability recognized by the Administration of 38% in 2009; 69% in 2014, and 79% in 2018. In 2019, when the events occurred, his illness was in a very advanced state: he depended on third parties for his vital needs; he lacked mobility in his lower extremities; He could not stand on his own, did not adequately coordinate the movements of his upper extremities, and had muscle weakness and tremors. In addition to serving the permanent, reviewable prison sentence, the woman must compensate two minor children that the man had with another woman with 283,000 euros.

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