Mexico's Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of a Frenchwoman who had been sentenced to 60 years in prison for her alleged role in a kidnapping ring.
One justice had proposed that a lower court reconsider its sentence against Cassez, calling witness testimony identifying Cassez as a kidnapper invalid. But ultimately, the court ruled that there were so many significant irregularities during Cassez's detention and trial that she should be released from prison immediately.
"These violations of the human rights of Florence Cassez are so serious that they create a corrupting effect in the entire process that makes it impossible for the Supreme Court to validate this process, this detention, all of these violations," said Arturo Zaldivar, one of the justices.
But a well-known anti-crime advocate in Mexico criticized the high court's decision.
"It seems to me that this opens the door to impunity and leaves the victims empty-handed," said Isabel Miranda de Wallace, president of a prominent Mexican anti-kidnapping group.