Brazil Judge’s Sentence Against American Pilots Cannot Be Enforced

Judge Murilo Mendes Almost five years ago, on September 26, 2006, an executive jet manufactured by the Brazilian aerospace company, Embraer, left São Paulo on a flight to the United States where it was to be delivered to its new owners. The jet, a Legacy 600, was piloted by two Americans, Joseph Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino.

Around 5:00 pm, on a clear day, somewhere over the state of Mato Grosso, the Legacy and a commercial airliner, a Boeing 737, brushed past each other.

The Legacy was slightly damaged and managed to land. The Boeing, belonging to Gol Airlines, flight 1907 from Manaus to Brasília, crashed in a remote region known as the Serra do Cachimbo killing all 154 people aboard.

Lepore and Paladino were actually taken into custody in Brazil immediately following the accident. They were later released on the understanding that they could face criminal charges.

Since the accident, many Brazilian authorities and relatives of the victims have clamored for a trial of the American pilots. A trial has taken place, part of it by teleconference with the pilots testifying in the United States.

This week, a federal judge in the municipality of Sinop (population 106,000), in the state of Mato Grosso (near where the Boeing crashed), found Lepore and Paladino guilty of causing the accident and gave the two American pilots a limited-custodial sentence (“pena em regime semiaberto” – that is, the prisoner must spend the night in jail but can leave during the day) for a period of four years and four months.

In his sentence, the judge, Murilo Mendes, made it clear that the pilots were responsible for the accident. However, he then converted the sentence into community service in the United States and ordered the suspension of their pilot’s licenses during the period of the sentence.

The judge’s ruling can be appealed to a higher court and, as a matter of fact, the Mato Grosso state office of government attorneys (“Ministério Público Federal em Mato Grosso – MPF-MT”), immediately announced that they will file an appeal seeking a stiffer penalty for the pilots .

The Association of Relatives and Friends of the Victims of Flight 1907 released a note saying the sentence by judge Mendes left them in a state of “consternation and anger.” A lawyer for the association declared the relatives and friends wanted a maximum sentence of imprisonment.

He also criticized the alternative sentence. “Although the time to be served is long, the fact that it will be served doing community services in their country (the US) means it amounts to practically nothing, it is nil,” the lawyer said.

The pilots attorney has also announced that he will file an appeal since he considers that the punishment is too severe. For Theodomiro Dias Neto, defense lawyer, the sentence wasn’t too far from what they wanted. He announced he would appeal however, because the judge wasn’t consistent in his ruling.

Can any sentence be enforced, however? Most experts believe that any ruling is unenforceable and probably won’t be accepted by the American justice so the pilots won’t be subject to any punishment not even some symbolic community service. A Brazilian judge has no jurisdiction in the US. Besides, there is no extradition treaty between both countries on the matter at hand.

Judge Murilo Mendes has his doubts his ruling can be enforced. According to him, there is “a question of sovereignty.”

He stressed, however, that there is a treaty between Brazil that might help the fulfillment of the sentence. “Provided there is cooperation by the US authorities. Since this is a cooperation treaty we imagine that cooperation will occur,” he said.


  • Show Comments (12)

  • Costinha

    Roamer – Uma Pulga Aviadada
    Antes que eu me esqueςa…. Vai tomar no Cú RETARDADO MENTAL, e foda-se seu cherador de cola.



    Costinha da Costa

  • Roamer

    Who’s really at fault?
    Don’t take my word for it. Here’s a recent article from Epoca magazine. It says that almost 5 years after the tragedy, little has changed with Brasilian Air Traffic Control and that it’s only a matter of time until there’s another collision. Inexperienced and overworked controllers with poor English Skills. Antiquated equipment which is often in a state of disrepair and dead zones over large swaths of Brasilian air space. Meanwile air traffic is increasing at an exponential rate. One comment states “VERGONHA NA CARA DOS GOVERNANTES DESSE PAÍS DE ARAQUE.” That about sums it up. Most Brasilians though, are much more interested in where their next bottle of cachaca is coming from then in fixing this kind of gross negligence, corruption and incompetence. Fools like Costinho will no doubt claim that the writers of this article were paid off by the Americans.,,EMI235167-15223,00.html

  • Costinha da Costa

    Roamer, the WORST SHĬT EVER says:
    “ Total Nobel Prizes: Brasil=0, China=2(both peace prizes) U.S.= 326 ”

    Hehehehe….. Does that count for Obama’s prize for Peace? As he continues to violate Pakistan sovereignty while bombing their cities and killing innocent civilians of that country (now in the 400’s neighborhood)?

    Despite whatever the original intentions of Alfred Nobel were then, it has now become political epicenter for white men to nominate other white men and sit around to discuss how great they are.

    More then 98 percent of all wins goes to European or American, and the rest distributed around non-whites or the developing world. Brasil has being nominated in every category year after year (Mathematics, Physics, Medicine, Chemistry, Biology, Literature) but consistently denied (kind of UN security council membership). Countries like China, India and others who produced many fine scientists and peace makers with fine ideas and noble deeds are simply ignored by the side road, sad really!

    The Nobel Committee has a bizarre controversial record to say the least. An american physicists won a Nobel prize 10 years after his parody for levitating a frog with magnets. Yeah, that has a lot of value for the betterment of the human condition.

    Not too far in the future, the Nobel prize for Literature will be giving to the famous Nigerian 419 scam letters author.

    One more point that can not be ignored…. Yes, the US has received many Nobel prizes but don’t you forget that the majority of those laureates were not even born in the US, but elsewhere. So those don’t count.

    One thing for sure… I don’t believe that Mr. Roamer will be heading to Scandinavia to receive his prize anytime soon.


    The May 2005 issue of theNational Geographic has an interesting article on the Nobel committee and Albert Einstein (a non-gentile). Apparently, the Nobel committee was really determined to deny Albert Einstein a Nobel Prize, even if the entire world demanded it. So much for the honesty and integrity of the Nobel committee. Quoting from the article:
    In 11 different years, Einstein was nominated only to be rejected. One Nobel committee member wrote Einstein must never receive a Nobel Prize even if the entire world demands it. The entire world did demand it, and Einstein got the 1921 Nobel ”” for his contributions to physics and for his 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect. He showed that light behaves not only as a wave but also as a stream of particles, or quanta. The committe directed Einstein not to mention relativity in his acceptance lecture [emphasis added]. He did so anyway. ”” Heidi Schultz
    This seems to be suggestive of why Hayek received the Nobel Prize only the year after Mises died, when it could no-longer be awarded to Mises. It is also arguable that just as Einstein could have (rather should have) received the Nobel for relativity, so too can an argument be made that Mises and Hayek could have received the Nobel Prize for their contributions to the socialist calculation debate. Of course, then, the mainstream economists ”” such as crackpot Paul Samuelson ”” were still thoroughly convinced that the USSR would overtake the US economically. In fact, in the edition ofEconomics just before the USSR collapsed, Samuelson still argued such. This, from an “economist” who claims adherence to the fact.
    Roamer….. You are road kill waiting for a shovel.

    Please don’t breed,


    PS: The Legacy pilots are criminals and should be hung by their balls!

  • Roamer

    You’re hilarious
    Why don’t you read the verdict of the Brasilian judge,Costinha, you illiterate shithead. The pilots were acquitted of five of the six charges against them including the charges of failing to follow the flight plan and of intentionally turning off the transponder. The only conviction was on the charge of failing to notice that the transponder was turned off. Not a shred of evidence was ever produced that the transponder was turned off intentionally. Of course evidence and facts mean nothing to hysterical lumpkins like Costinha who parrot the yellow press in Brasil and still accuse the Legacy pilots of stunt flying in their new toy. Yes, the U.S. is in a world of hurt from reckless spending on useless wars and indebtedness but Brasil’s recent economic success is due to selling commodities to China and that will soon come to an end so I wouldn’t get too excited.Under the right leadership, the U.S. has the human resources and can recover. Except for Embraer, Brasil has little of a knowledge based economy that can compete worldwide. Total Nobel Prizes: Brasil=0, China=2(both peace prizes) U.S.= 326

  • Costinha da Costa

    Americans…. The John Wayne Approach!
    The above reference to Brasil as a banana Republic says at all…. Huff and Puff, we Americans are better then anyone else on this earth. That’s the mentality that got them innumerous friends around the planet. Even their closest allies (the EU) despises them.

    Yeah… Banana republic indeed. Soon enough, you will be borrowing more money from the Chinese to buy Brasilian products including food. Remember, Brasil in less then 10 years will become the largest food producer in the world (bread basket as you call it!) with less then 255 of its territory being cultivated, and harvesting 12 months out of the year without snow nor drought to interfere with production.

    The attitude of those criminal american pilots speaks volumes and demonstrate the general american disregard for other nations and their rule of law. Those scum buckets rednecks decided to turn-off their transponder while flying under the rules of the Brasilian air traffic control system.

    I can almost hear them peckerwoods… Let’s see what this Brasilian made jet Legacy is capable of, and who cares, we are in Brasil not the US, as tragedy killed hundreds of innocent people. If they done that in their own country, they probably be facing the death penalty, deservingly so. Or imagine for a moment, if they were Brasilian pilots flying in US airspace and caused this accident, where would those pilots be?

    Thank God, their empire is in fast decline, borrowing more and more money from Chinese, going bankrupt faster then I can blink. America, your days of evil hegemony are simply over, you can’t afford it anymore.


    PS: Roamer – Stop rubbing Rogaine onto your swollen manboobs in the hopes of growing some chest hair and come away from that window you are wiggling your ass out of in the hope that some passing stranger might be desperate enough to grope it for the first sexual experience of your life, and get in here so I can force-feed you a generous helping of Shut The Fųck Up… and have kneepads fitted already – you’ll be needing them.


  • Costinha da Costa

    Roamer… Talk to somebody who cares… YOU FÛCK-A-DUCK
    Go Roam Home somewhere in Rome as you Foam and get your Comb before I slap you across your Dome and stick a piece of Chrome up your Loam until the time you Groan and Moan in different Tones as you grab your Phone, poor devil suffering from a cocksucking Syndrome, you freaking Prone Gnome!


    So let me say Shalom….


    PS: Once I Was Swimming Cross Snapper Creek….Man, Them Snappers Were All Round My Feet…Sure Was Hard Swmming Cross That Thing, With Both My Hands Holding On To My “Din A Ling”!


  • Roamer

    First of all Costinha, you dumb piece of caipira merda, I’m not an American and I live in Brasil so I see the endemic corruption in the government and judiciary first hand every day. You’re typical of the pathetic arrogance of many Brasilians who have never been anywhere and never seen anything and talk about things which they know nothing about. So go procreate with your cousin and bring more inbred cretins into the world of which Brasil has plenty already and which you are a prime example of. I have many issues with the U.S but it still has 7 times the GDP of Brasil so Brasil may catch up by the year 2300. That’s if it doesn’t implode from racial war first. By the way the numbers of Nobel Prizes: Brazil=0 , U.S. = 326 . This really isn’t a fair fight. It’s like Muhammad Ali in his prime fighting the cleaning lady.

  • Costinha da Costa

    Roamer…. Go roam elsewhere, like in HELL!
    Your ignorant bastard coward american….. The NTSB hsa never had, nor does it have it now, nor will ever have any jurisdiction over Brasilian territory….. Did you get that moron?

    Now go back and study Geography 101 concurrently with Political Science 101.

    Until that time… Don’t say things like that; it just makes you sound stupid. In fact, don’t talk at all. It just makes you sound stupid.

    Americans just don’t ever learn, doomed to roll in their own excrement to the end of time.

    God Mess the USA


  • costinha da costa

    American Arrogance, AGAIN
    Our blood is cheaper then theirs… M0THERFUCKERS!

    I just wonder if this case was the other way around ?

    The organization of American society is an interlocking system of semi-monopolies notoriously venal, an electorate notoriously unenlightened, misled by a mass media notoriously phony and a justice system based users’ monetary and political leverage.

    Long Live Al Quaeda,


  • Roamer

    Did that really happen?
    “The air traffic controller was killed by relatives not too long after the crash.”
    I never heard about that. Do you have any source or details? I feel the pain of the victims’ families but their tactics leave much to be desired. They tried to prosecute a journalist who was on the Legacy for defaming Brasil and it’s clear from the evidence that Brasilian Air Traffic Control is mainly responsible for the tragedy. I trust the findings of the NTSB over those of the Brasilian agencies and judiciary. This all about who will ultimately be held liable and forced to pay.

  • Paul S

    Banana republic
    Not sure what evidence they had but of course the foreign pilots were at fault in the Brazilian banana republic. The air traffic controller was killed by relatives not too long after the crash. Wonder how he would have testified?

  • RNB

    Other Responsible Persons
    Why no mention of the court’s ruling on the culpability of the air traffic controller?

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