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French president pardons battered woman who killed husband

Jacqueline Sauvage, center, was convicted of murdering her abusive husband. She said she was beaten for 47 years.
PHILIPPE RENAUD/European Pressphoto Agency/File 2015
Jacqueline Sauvage, center, was convicted of murdering her abusive husband. She said she was beaten for 47 years.

PARIS — President Francois Hollande has pardoned a woman who was convicted of shooting and killing her allegedly violent husband, in a case that has drawn public attention to the issue of domestic abuse.

Hollande said in a statement Wednesday that the 69-year-old Jacqueline Sauvage can be immediately released from a prison southeast of Paris after spending four years behind bars.

Two different juries had sentenced Sauvage to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting her husband three times in the back with a hunting rifle in 2012. During the trials, Sauvage said she’d been beaten by her husband for 47 years. Their daughters also said they had been abused by him. The husband had never been convicted.

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The case saw women’s rights advocates, politicians, and sympathizers mobilize to support Sauvage.

Associated Press