How the Death Penalty Was Eliminated in France

Monday, October 06, 2008

Execution by guillotine wasn’t eliminated in France until the early 1980s. French lawyer Robert Badinter talks about his fight to end the death penalty there, and what the US can learn from the debate over the death penalty in France. His recent book is Abolition.


Robert Badinter

Comments [5]

Stunna1 from atlanta,ga

Luckily for us this is America! I would never want to live in a country where a sicko could rape a six year old child, beat her to death, and get to live the rest of his life. Where is the justice!!? Personally, I feel it should be mandatory for proven child rapists,repeat pedaphiles, and senseless, unprovoked murderers to die. Of course, that would require a grit that most politicians aren't born with!

Oct. 09 2008 07:52 PM
Marc Naimark from Paris

As Mr Badinter said, in the past there was no appeal on the verdict (as opposed to the legality) on criminal (rape, murder) cases in France. The Assizes Appeals Court was only created in 2000!

And I would strongly disagree with Mr Badinter's claim that the population would not support a return to the death penalty. I think there remains strong public support for the death penalty in the most heinous and emotional crimes (pedophiliac rape and murder, for example).

Oct. 09 2008 08:36 AM
Mark from Wahington Heights

Former minister Badiner was a better than thou Gallic pricko. This did not give Leonard the right to reply in kind. Rerun the program and listen to the tones of voice.

Oct. 06 2008 12:45 PM
Ellen from Brooklyn

I am mostly against the death penalty for many reasons pointed out by this guest, but I still struggle with it. I think it can be a valuable tool in very select situations. For example, Leonard mentioned that both Texas and New York allow the death penalty but NY hasn't executed someone in years. I think in extreme crimes where there is absolutely no question of guilt, the death penalty is a good bargaining tool. If a criminal is getting life is sure to get life in prison, taking the death penalty off the table may tip them to tell the police the location of more bodies or give up something else they would have no motivation for otherwise. But then again, maybe there are other bargaining tools I'm overlooking. I find it a very difficult issue to fall one way or the other 100% of the time. I appreciated hearing from this guest.

Oct. 06 2008 12:45 PM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

Why is Mr. Lopate being so rude to this guest?
He is constantly interrupting him.

Oct. 06 2008 12:26 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.