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article imageSpanish mother who killed daughter's rapist gets reprieve

By Anne Sewell     Jun 28, 2013 in World
Alicante - María del Carmen García was packed and ready to head to the Fontcalent prison in Alicante on Thursday for killing her daughter's rapist. A last-minute reprieve suspended her sentence while the courts consider her request for a pardon.
Back in 1998, García's daughter, Veronica, was only 13 when she was raped by a neighbor. The rapist was sentenced to nine years in prison. However, in 2005, while out on parole, the offender returned to their hometown of Benejúzar, and ran into García in the street and asked her, “How’s your daughter?”
García's response was short and to the point. She bought a bottle of gasoline, walked into a bar, poured the gasoline over the convicted rapist and set him alight. The man died from the burns he suffered a week later.
Back in 2009, the court sentenced García to nine-and-a-half years for the crime and a year later in 2010, the Supreme Court reduced the sentence to five-and-a-half years after applying the defense of temporary insanity. She was detained for one year while awaiting trial.
García was ready to head to the Fontcalent prison in Alicante on Thursday to serve her sentence for killing the man, but at the last minute, the court accepted the appeal filed by her attorney, Joaquín Galant, which called for the suspension of her sentence while the government considers her request for a pardon.
Visibly emotional after learning that, for now, she won't have to return to jail to serve the rest of her four-and-a-half year sentence, García told reporters:
“Thank you all for your support,” adding, “They have to pardon me because I’m not a killer.”
And now the court has agreed to suspend her sentence “while the application for pardon is being handled” by Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón.
García's daughter, Verónica, told the media, “We won a battle; what’s left is the war.”
When suspending her sentence, the court cited García’s “lack of habitual dedication to criminal activities” and noted that she had no prior record. Her lawyer also argued in court that García has to attend to her family “in particular her husband, who suffers from a serious illness.”
Her attorney said that the court had confirmed a few weeks ago that the government is currently “hearing” the petition for pardon. The petition was endorsed by more than 20 groups and 1,700 individuals.
Galant said that he is thankful for the “popular uproar” of the thousands of people who supported the pardon request. “We hope it will be approved,” he says.
The petition is still growing, as on Wednesday the family submitted a further 14,700 signatures from individuals who support García’s plea. These signatures will be added to the petition that was filed on June 11.
More about Spain, Alicante, fontcalent prison, maria del carmen garcia, Daughter
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