The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez , has only granted two of the 9,618 pardons that, throughout his almost three years as head of the Executive, have had an unfavorable report from the sentencing court and the Prosecutor’s Office, as he plans to do with the twelve Catalan prisoners of the ‘procés’.
According to calculations made for 20 minutes from official data from the Ministry of Justice, the Government has only granted 0.02% of the grace measures that have been requested and that were rejected by the Prosecutor’s Office and the sentencing court .
The reports are not binding, but the figures reflect that granting pardons are both reports against is exceptional. So far, the two governments of Sánchez – the one-color and the coalition – have pardoned a total of 75 prisoners.
The two prisoners who have received the pardon despite opposition from the court and the Prosecutor’s Office represent 2.6% of that figure. In addition, there have been three other measures of grace that have been granted with the court against and the Prosecutor’s Office in favor, and 18 have been granted with the court in favor and the Prosecutor’s Office against. The rest, 52 (69%), have had the green light from both estates.
The period in which the Socialist Executive rejected more pardons was in the second half of 2018 , as soon as they came to power. Then, 8 were granted – all had at least one favorable report – and 3,739 were rejected, of which 94% had two unfavorable reports.
In the following six months, the first of 2019, it was when the Government granted the measure of grace to the only two prisoners who were pardoned despite having those writings against . In total, 39 inmates were pardoned at that time and another 2,261 petitions were rejected, of which 94% also had the contrary criteria of the Prosecutor’s Office and the court.
In the second half of 2019, the Executive did not pardon anyone and rejected 1,826 applications, of which 1,539 had two unfavorable reports. The last year for which data are available, 2020, 28 inmates were allowed to take advantage of this measure, all with the two writings or at least one of them in favor, and 2,876 were denied, of which 2,558 did not have the approval neither from the judges nor from the Public Ministry.
5% of pardons without the favor of the Prosecutor’s Office and the court in the last decade
In the last ten years, pardons with a negative response from the sentencing court and the Prosecutor’s Office have also been minimal , accounting for only 5% of those granted since 2011: 63 out of 1,274 (4.9%). In this time, almost 50% (628) have been granted with the approval of both parties.
Another 479 (37%) have been found with the court in favor and the Prosecutor’s Office against; and the remaining 104 (8%), with the Public Ministry in favor but with the court against.
Under the governments of the PP (2011-2018), 61 grace measures were granted despite the rejection of the judges and prosecutors . In total, during those seven years, 1,199 pardons were granted. The granting of the grace measure, however, has been losing weight over the years: between 2000 and 2010, 5,258 were applied and in the following 10 years, only 1,803.
Prosecutor’s Office and Supreme Court, against the pardon of the independentistas
In the case of those convicted by the ‘procés’ – the former vice president of the Government, Oriol Junqueras ; the seven former councilors, Bassa, Forn, Rull, Romeva, Turull, Santi Vila, Meritxell Borràs and Carles Mundó (the latter three convicted of disobedience); the former president of the Parliament, Carme Forcadell and the ‘Jordis’, as Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart , presidents of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and of Òmnium Cultural, are called – it does not seem that the fact that both the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor’s Office have shown themselves against will affect their pardon.
“There is a time for punishment and a time for harmony”Sánchez said in the Congress of Deputies this Wednesday.” We are always going to do what we consider to be in the best interest of Spain, “said María Jesús Montero, spokesperson for the Executive and Minister of Finance, on Tuesday. ” There is no need to panic, ” said the head of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, on Monday.
To justify its refusal, the High Court pointed out the lack of repentance of the independentistas. In the report signed by the magistrates who tried the ‘procés’, headed by Manuel Marchena, he maintains that the reasons of justice, equity or public utility that could justify the pardon do not concur .
Also, that the arguments used by the pardon petitions distort the meaning of the grace measure, which cannot serve the Government, they warn, to “correct” the sentence handed down in October 2019 by the High Court
For its part, the Public Ministry indicated at the end of last year that it did not appreciate ” reasons of justice , equity or public utility that would authorize the granting” of the pardon. The Prosecutor’s Office also argued that none of them had shown regret for having committed the crime of sedition, for which the majority were sentenced to between 9 and 13 years in prison .
It should be remembered that for the Government, at the proposal of the Ministry of Justice and after the deliberation of the Council of Ministers, to approve the pardons, the reports of the sentencing court – in this case the Supreme Court – and of the Prosecutor’s Office are not binding.
For this reason, pardons have been granted with the writings in favor, with one in favor and one against, and both being unfavorable. Of course, if both estates are against each other, the pardons cannot be total, but partial .