French president pardons Jacqueline Sauvage over killing of violent husband
French President Francois Hollande has pardoned a woman who was jailed for 10 years for killing her husband after he abused her for decades.
"In the face of an exceptional human situation, the president wanted to make it possible for (Jacqueline) Sauvage to return to her family as soon as possible," the presidency said in a statement, The Guardian reported.
The rare pardon granted by Hollande amounts to a reduction of Sauvage's sentence that will allow the 68-year-old to leave prison in mid-April, her lawyers said. By then, she will have spent more than three years behind bars.
The gesture came just two days after the president met for the first time with Sauvage's three daughters and her lawyers on Friday.
Sauvage's case had become a cause célèbre in France, with more than 400,000 people signing a petition demanding her release.
"I'm overwhelmed, happy, grateful, relieved," said Eva Darlan, founder of an advocacy group for Sauvage.
Sauvage was married for 47 years to Norbert Marot, a violent alcoholic who she said raped and beat her and her three daughters and also abused her son.
On September 10, 2012, the day after her son hanged himself, Sauvage shot her husband three times in the back with a rifle.
She was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison in October 2014, which was upheld on appeal in December 2015 as the state rejected her plea of self-defence.
The group Osez le Feminisme (Dare To Be Feminist) called for the definition of self-defence to be expanded in cases of "female victims of violence".