A 23-year-old man who had been wrongfully held in a Brazilian jail for a year when his flatmates were caught with marijuana plants has died on the same day he received a release permit to leave prison.
Briner de Cesar Bitencourt was being held in the Palmas Penal Unit (UPP) in Palmas, Brazil, and died during medical care at the Emergency Care Unit after two weeks of complaining of body aches.
Briner was arrested on 12th October 2021, after police broke into the house he was renting a room in, and found marijuana plants growing in the rooms of other tenants.
His defence team worked hard for over a year with Livia Machado Vianna, Briner’s lawyer, eventually proving that he was “an honest worker* who “did social projects” and had “no idea of what was happening in the other rooms.”
Briner was held in prison as a preventive measure and was acquitted just a few days before he died.
Hours after his death, the penal unit received a release permit, on the morning of Monday, 10th October.
Briner’s death was confirmed by a medical team, but the cause is yet to be determined.
Briner had been suffering from constant body aches for 15 days, according to the Department of Citizenship and Justice (SECIJU).
The day before he passed, on 9th October, he felt unwell during the night, he was evaluated by the on-call health team, who verified the need for specialized care, local media reported.
The Mobile Emergency Care Service (SAMU) was called in and, after evaluation, the person in custody was medicated and kept under observation at the UPP.
At around 10pm Briner felt sick again and was transferred to a hospital, but died the following morning.
The lawyer stated that neither she nor the young man’s family was informed about his health during the two weeks he felt sick in prison.
SECIJU reported that the Criminal Police Release Permits Center received the document authorizing Briner’s release just hours after his death.
All procedures related to health care for the custodian were made available and the funeral assistance and necessary support for family members were paid for, the SECIJU said.