Due to Absence of Criminal Record, Man Who Killed Cat May Serve Time Out of Jail

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    There were several reasons that Judge Tatiana LópezMonge gave for granting the benefit of conditional execution of the sentence to Gabriel Saborío Soto, who was sentenced this Monday to 2 years in prison for killing a cat after throwing it into the void from a balcony, almost 30 meters high, on November 19th, 2019. With the benefit, the 31-year-old will not serve his sentence in prison, but will be released, with the reservation that in the next 5 years, counted from the moment the sentence becomes final, he will not be able to commit any crime, otherwise the benefit will be revoked and he will have to go to prison.

    In the reading of the therefore, López pointed out that although Saborío was sentenced to the maximum prison sentence established in the Penal Code for killing a domestic animal, the fact that he did not have convictions on his criminal record allowed him to enjoy of the benefit, according to the provisions of articles 59 to 61 of that code. “Despite the fact that the report indicates that you had a criminal record, as your defenders correctly sustained, you are a primary (offender), and since being primary, this judge, watching your record sheet from the moment you start the investigation until days before concluding this debate, does not find any conviction”, mentioned the judge at the time of outlining the reasons for the sentence. Gabriel Saborío Soto had entered the criminal file for reckless driving and theft, which transpired on September 26th, 2022, the day the trial began for which he was sentenced this Monday.

    Another of the reasons that the judge explained for not sending the young man to prison was related to his age, professional expectations and his relationship with his family. “Taking into account that you are a young man, with a life ahead of you, who can face what is coming, as you have done in this proceeding, is that you are granted the benefit of conditional execution, not for the minimum of three years, but for a maximum of five, leaving it up to you to prove that you comply with social coexistence. It was appreciated that you are working, you are studying, you have a family that did come every day (to the trial), you were here, in a way that I determine that it is proportional to impose conditional execution”, Judge Tatiana López justified.

    The benefit of conditional execution of the sentence was one of the requests that the complaint of this judicial process, represented by the National Autonomous Cinological Association (ACAN) and Heart Volunteers, had asked the court not to grant to the young man. Likewise, the judge rejected the request of the Public Ministry, represented in the process by the prosecutor Natalia Rojas, to confiscate the passport of the sentenced person today. The judge did maintain the precautionary measures against Saborío Soto to sign each month, keep an updated address, not live with animals and the impediment of leaving the country.

    No civil action required

    Regarding the Civil Action for Compensation, which was presented by the Catrix association, and which requested the convicted person an indemnity of ¢25 million to allocate to a castration campaign for cats, Judge Tatiana López declared it inadmissible, because the association, for at the time of the events, it was not registered in the judicial register. Despite the fact that it was written in the national registry, that was not the requirement requested by the normative element, but the registration in the judicial registry, and since it was given some time later, this judge considers that it has to be declared without place the Civil Action for Compensation”, explained the judge.

    Lawyer Ana Marcela Saborío, who represented Catrix in the process, said that “it is rejected due to a legal technicality and that, precisely for that reason, it gives it a lack of legitimacy. I emphasize that the judge does consider that there is no conviction for costs because it is plausible. So we are not denied a right to a civil action, we are being denied on a technicality, a situation that we are going to appeal because that technicality was accurately corrected during the stages of the process. We are going to reach the last consequence”, Ana Marcela Saborío referred.

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