Minister Gilmar Mendes, of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), voted today (23) to overturn the sentence of an accused who was convicted based on photographic recognition.
The case began to be judged by the Second Panel of the Court, but after the vote of the minister, who is the rapporteur of the case, a request for a review by Ricardo Lewandowski postponed the conclusion of the trial.
The ministers are analyzing a habeas corpus in which the Public Defender of the Union (DPU) alleges that the accused was sentenced to eight years in prison, but no evidence of the charges was found.
According to the process, the accused was approached by the Military Police while running in a park in São Paulo. The approach took place during the search for criminals who committed a robbery and stole a pair of glasses, a wallet, a watch and R$100 in cash.
The approach took place an hour after the crime. The accused was searched, but the murder weapon, the stolen objects and nothing illegal were found.
However, the police took a photo of the accused and sent it, through a messaging app, to colleagues who were also policing the area and were with the victims, who recognized him as the author of the crime.
In Gilmar Mendes’ understanding, eyewitnesses are subject to error and recognition must be used with caution, and must be corroborated with other evidence.
“In the specific case, judicial recognition [condenação] he is addicted to the photographic recognition carried out by WhatsApp, added to the fact that there is no other evidence in the file to confirm authorship of the appellant,” he said.
There is no deadline for resuming the trial.
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