Court: Shooting Defendant Can End His Life Before Trial

Security guard shot during attack on colleagues is a paraplegic
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2022 4:39 PM CDT
Defendant Can Be Euthanized Before Trial, Court Rules
Pentobarbital is used in euthanasia.   (Getty/digicomphoto)

(Newser) – A security guard charged in the shootings of colleagues and a police officer is within his rights to end his life before his trial begins, a court in Spain has ruled. Officials say Marin Eugen Sabau, 46, wounded three people at a security company in Tarragona in December, then a police officer. Police marksmen shot Sabau, who was left a paraplegic, the Guardian reports. A Spanish law approved last year provides that adults with incurable conditions that cause them "unbearable suffering" can arrange to have their lives ended legally.

"I'm paraplegic. I've got 45 stitches in one hand and I can barely move my left arm," Sabau said in a statement from a prison hospital last month. "I'm full of screws and I can't feel my chest." While finding that Sabau has a right to euthanasia, a federal court acknowledged that the new law didn't anticipate a situation like this. The wounded officer's lawyer, who has appealed the decision, said the latest ruling "hasn't taken into account the victims’ suffering nor their dignity." The prison hospital told the court in June it was preparing to euthanize Sabau because of his dependency and pain, per Spanish News Today.

Sabau, who's Romanian, said that he was a victim of exploitation and racism at Securitas and that his supervisors made his life "a living hell." He emailed them before the shooting, saying: "I've got no option, I will take the law into my own hands. Lessons learned with blood aren't easily forgotten." The court in Tarragona said it couldn't assume Sabau would be convicted. It conceded that he inflicted pain on others but said he "faces the prospect of a very limited life" without relief of his suffering. (Read more euthanasia stories.)

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