Thursday, March 31, 2016

Murder, abolition of capital punishment, rehabilitation, recidivism: Patrick Henry, despite her symbol – francetv info

For a long, long time, Patrick Henry no longer belongs entirely. Since his arrest in 1976 in Troyes (Aube), at the age of 22, for the abduction and murder of Philippe Bertrand, a boy aged 7 years, it continues to be targeted or erected example. Thursday, March 31, his chaotic judicial route could experience its epilogue, if the Court of Appeal of Paris accepts his application for parole.

info francetv discusses the causes embodied unwittingly, by inmate the most famous of France.

the monster down to a “society at risk”

the sequence is stuck in the French television and legal history . On 18 February 1976 Roger Gicquel opens the JT TF1 stating: “France is afraid” . The presenter then tells “horror” of the death of little Philip, strangled by her kidnapper who demanded a ransom from his parents. Patrick Henry, a young business who knew the family, confesses the crime and became the most hated man in France where born “crazy cravings summary justice” , tells the presenter.

At that time, kidnapping of minors are growing: the only seven year 1975. No child kidnapper was guillotined since the Second World War, notes Le Parisien Libéré and many French want to make an example of Patrick Henry.

especially since, as explained Christian Delporte twenty-three years later in the history of journal Twentieth Century , part of the French population is reluctant to societal changes underway, including the recent legalization of abortion: “to those who dream of revenge, the Patrick Henry case (…) may appear as a trial copy to develop a campaign on the theme of bleeding values, where justice will be presented as the ultimate bulwark of society at risk, and the death penalty as a necessary condition for its self-preservation. “

“I hope that justice will hard and well,” says his side Michel Poniatowski, the Interior Minister of the time. An opinion poll published opportunely, 72% of French are for the death penalty in cases of hostage taking and crime on a child. “I believe that the death sentence is just punishment for what he did” says even his own father. The trial in preparation seems intended only endorse the announced death of Patrick Henry.

the trial which led to the abolition of the death penalty

on 20 January 1977 the sister of Patrick Henry falls into the arms of his brother. He has been sentenced to life in prison, but he will live. In Express , Liliane Sichler reflects the hateful atmosphere that goes into seizure assistance through the stupor: “Death to the jury Death Lawyers Give him to us! we make a descent into bed! “, claimed a surly crowd in the court of Troyes.

Patrick Henry out of the court of Troyes  (Aube) on 19 January 1977 after being convicted to  life.
Patrick Henry leaving the court in Troyes (Aube) on 19 January 1977 after being sentenced to life. (HOUPLINE DANIEL / SIPA)

This “victory” is that of Patrick Henry, but especially his lawyer, Robert Badinter, and his brilliant argument: “The death of a man 22 years in response to the death of a child of 7 years, it is not justice. it’s something else, because justice does not kill. Or it is nothing she is defeated. ” But this will prevent abolitionist convinced, a few days later: “You are in the presence of a decision, but the death penalty is still there.”

the space of just one month, two other men are also guillotined. But the repercussions of Patrick Henry case provoked debate. In 1978, against the opinion of the vast majority of parliamentarians of his political camp, the deputy of Philippe Seguin Vosges present a bill involving the abolition of the death penalty.

In 1981, the French remain beautiful opposed this change to 63%, François Mitterrand actually a campaign argument. Newly elected, the new head of state his word and entrust the task to the new Minister of Justice, who is none other than Robert Badinter. On 9 October, it gets Parliament’s implementation of the “vow of Victor Hugo,” four years after saving the life of Patrick Henry.

L icon rehabilitation

in 2000, the debate on the draft law on the presumption of innocence again pushes Patrick Henry in the spotlight. The text provides for discharging the Justice Minister the responsibility to grant parole to long sentences, hard act to take politically. The decision could now be taken by a “regional jurisdiction of parole” composed of three judges.

Since his incarceration, Patrick Henry was denied in September conditional requests by the Ministers of Justice have succeeded. yet it is “a model inmate” which resumed his studies: pot, math and license DUT computer. He directs the printing of the prison of Caen, he has a “thriving”. If the new law passes, judges, sensitive to its transformation, could make it out fine.

The idea disgusts some opponents of being soft on crime. On France 2, Jacques Toubon denounces the “extraordinary ability of crap” Patrick Henry .

Finally, as expected, Patrick Henry gets his freedom Conditional April 26, 2001, accompanied by a strict judicial review. On May 16, he leaves his cell. Housing and employment ahead. His supporters then erect the icon of redemption, in the image of his math teacher, Marie Reginald sister, “has clung to him like a son.”

a few weeks later, Robert Badinter rejoiced in the columns of Express “You see, whatever caused the crime, the superiority of refusal the death penalty. after the fact, after all this time has elapsed, we take the measure. ” The symbol of the second chance only has to take off.

The incarnation of recidivist

In 1977, the outcome of the trial that spares him the guillotine, Patrick Henry launches judges of the Assize court: “You will not have to regret it!” the title of the book he had to go out in Calmann-Levy in the fall of 2002. But on 10 October, the Criminal picture repented collapses: he was arrested in Spain with ten kilos of hashish bought in Morocco and he intended to resell in France


his arrest and extradition of scandal. Henry, interviewed by Express in the Spanish prison, tries to justify: “I was supposed to embody the problem of reintegration after twenty-five years in detention were. wanted to make me a superman, when in fact I’m just a poor guy. (…) I am willing to be accountable to justice, but not to be recovered by the political debate. “

Too late. We are a few months after the presidential election, marked by the debate on insecurity. Nicolas Sarkozy is preparing its legislation to internal security; the soft on crime and repeat offenders are singled out. “This is very painful is to see that this relapse will obviously cause significant blow to all attempts at rehabilitation” , sorry already on LCI, the former Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou .

on France Inter, Dominique Perben, his successor at the Chancellery, declares “extremely shocked” and ensures, just three days after his arrest in Spain, “Patrick Henry will return to prison” that “we can think that it will remain there long.” The premonition is confirmed April 17, 2003, when he found the prison of Caen, less than two years after regaining freedom.

Patrick Henry’s book is released, but under another title: Do you regret it? His publisher, told Libération denounces the stigma that struck the detainee: “As if not having been sentenced to death compelled him to perfect, never at fault … As if this right to live was not so clear. There is something that chips abolish the death penalty and which reinforces my desire to publish. “

Patrick Henry beautiful multiply requests for release and even begin a hunger strike, nothing convinces the administration – or public opinion – to give him another chance. In 2014, proposals for Christiane Taubira, hostile to long sentences, give hope that Francois Hollande will grant him a presidential pardon on 14 July. But the head of state, who must already cope with the unpopularity of the positions of the Justice Minister, rejected the request.

This Thursday, March 31, the day of its 63 years, the Court of Appeals will decide to terminate or not the detention of a man who has spent nearly two thirds of his life in prison. Not sure, however, that it is not again crushed by the wheels of manufacturing machine symbols.

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