Invited in La Matinale WE of CNEWS, Robert Badinter, former Minister of Justice, returned to the issue of the death penalty, while he will be alongside Emmanuel Macron to chair, from noon this Saturday, an official ceremony at the Pantheon in Paris to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the abolition of this sentence.
Is the death penalty really over in France? asks Jean-Pierre Elkabbach. “Absolutely, except for one case,” answers Robert Badinter. The death penalty has always been the prerogative or expression of dictatorships. And it is obvious that if we had a dictatorship again in France, the death penalty would be reinstated at the same time as freedoms would be suppressed, human rights wiped out etc. It would be certain, ”says the former justice minister.
A 200-year-long struggle
Contested for two hundred years, the death penalty was not finally abolished in France until 1981 under the leadership of François Mitterrand who had made it a campaign promise.
The bill on the abolition of the death penalty, defended by Robert Badinter, had been adopted on September 18 in the National Assembly after two days of heated debate, by 363 votes against 117. Twelve days later, the Senate approved also this law with 160 votes against 126.