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Cuban court commutes prisoner's death sentence

By Patrick Oppmann, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Humberto Eladio Real Suarez was sentenced to 30 years in prison
  • The government says he was a member of a Cuban exile group
  • He was convicted of killing a man for his car

Havana, Cuba (CNN) -- A Cuban court Tuesday commuted the sentence of the nation's only prisoner facing the death penalty, and instead sentenced him to 30 years in prison, according to the official Cubadebate website.

Humberto Eladio Real Suárez faced the death penalty for a murder he carried out after he and six other men snuck into Cuba in 1994 as "part of a terrorist invasion," the state-run website said.

According to the website, the men were members of an anti-Castro Cuban exile group. The men had automatic weapons and pistols when captured, Cubadebate said. Real Suarez was sentenced to death for killing a man for his car, acts against the state and discharging a firearm against a person.

Earlier this month, two other men sentenced to death for planting bombs in Havana also received pardons and were sentenced to 30 years in prison, according to the Cuban government.

Cuba's last execution was in 2003, when three men convicted of attempting to hijack a ferry to the United States were killed by firing squad.

 
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