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The death penalty is killing a person as punishment for a crime. My research question is "To what extent has the death penalty in France changed since it was first established?" Some questions that I hope to be able to answer by the end of my research are: "When was the death penalty abolished in France?", "When did they first start the death penalty in France?", "Do they still practice the death penalty anywhere in France?", and "What crimes were associated with the death penalty?" Some people think the death penalty is a good punishment because of their religious beliefs, but others think that it is just plain cruel. I know that when there were public executions, the people were entertained by the executions for some reason. I don't know for sure, but I think the death penalty was abolished in the late 1900s in France, yet it is still used in other countries around the world. For their executions, the French used something called a guillotine, a machine with a heavy blade sliding vertically in grooves, which was used to behead people. Although France used the guillotine, other countries around the world had their own ways of executing people. The first use of the guillotine took place on April 25, 1792, when Nicolas Jacques Pelletier was beheaded at Place de Gr?ve on the Right Bank. His execution took place at 3:30 in the afternoon. Having been the first time to use the guillotine, some people were unhappy with it. Some thought that it was too swift and clinically effective (Abbott). Using the guillotine left the crowd unsatisfied because the executions were no longer entertaining. They did not just want to see heads getting chopped off, they wanted the torture that was shown before the guillotine was used. Therefore, they wanted to go back to their old methods. Some of the methods used before the guillotine were hanging, breaking at the wheel, decapitation by sword for nobles, shooting of the right hand for thieves, and burning for heretics. But these methods were so old and hanging did not eventuate immediately. Under these conditions, French Revolution marked the modernization about the death penalty. For that reason, the guillotine was adopted. It was thought that, the guillotine was more humane way to end the life rather than the other ways of execution (Altun). The first movement of the abolition of the death penalty began on May 30, 1791. Although, that same year, the National Assembly accepted laws that refused to abolish the death penalty (Altun).Public executions in France ended in 1939. Between 1965 and 1981, only eight men were guillotined. The last execution by guillotine took place on September 10, 1977 in Marseilles, France, when the murderer Hamida Djandoubi was beheaded (The History of the Guillotine). Therefore, on September 20, 1981, France's National Assembly voted overwhelmingly by 369-116 to abolish the death penalty. At the time of the vote, 52 percent of the French public supported the death penalty while 42 percent opposed it. The decision, which sent the nation's two guillotines to museums, made France the last country in Western Europe to end the death penalty (Death Penalty). Currently, Europe is the only region in the world where the death penalty is no longer applied. All the Council of Europe's 47 member states have either abolished capital punishment or instituted a suspension on executions. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences (Kronenwetter). In several countries, capital crimes include sexual crimes, such as rape, adultery, incest, and sodomy. Certain jurisdictions also recognize religious crimes, drug trafficking, and human trafficking as serious enough to warrant execution, and a number of militaries around the world recognize nearly any crime committed by a soldier, including insubordination, as punishable by the death penalty (McGuigan). In France, people have been executed because they have murdered children and adults, committed matricide, robbed, tortured someone, inflicted severe bodily harm, and kidnapped someone. Likewise, some places give the death penalty in cases involving the killing or molestation of minors, particularly when the details of the crime were particularly abhorrent (McGuigan). Although, in the Middle Ages, the crimes that were considered to be punishable by the death penalty were murder, theft, sacrilege, and high treason (Death Penalty - When Life Generates Death). Capital punishment has been practiced in France from the Middle Ages up until 1977. The Middle Ages was a time period of about 1000 years, from around 500 AD through 1500 AD. During that time period, capital punishment was extremely common for those who committed serious crimes. In the Middle Ages, the most common types of execution were hanging or beheading (Till). Throughout the 1500 and 1600's, witch hunts, a searching out for persecution of persons accused of witchcraft, became common. These trials led to an execution method called Burning at the Stake. Burning at the stake was a popular death sentence and means of torture, used mostly for heretics, witches, and suspicious women. Although, burning was the preferred method used by the Church, as the church authorities were not permitted to shed blood (Till). As early as the mid-1700s, there were doubts about whether the death penalty acted as a deterrent to crime. In 1751, Parliament passed an Act for better preventing the horrid crime of murder which specified that a person convicted of murder was to be kept in chains and fed on only bread and water and to be hanged within 48 hours, unless that would have been a Sunday in which case the execution was carried out on the following Monday (Paxton). During the early 1800s various crimes were punishable by death. These ranged from murder and rape to shop lifting. They also got a newer version of the guillotine during that time period. As stated before, public executions were discontinued in 1939. Also, the usual time of day for executions changed from around 3pm to dawn. The number of executions increased during the 1940's and the wartime period. Whereas, the number of executions steadily decreased in the 1950's to the 1970's. In 1950, the estimated population in France was 41,829,000. There were 7,037 death sentences that year and the amount of executions was 1,536 (Death Penalty). There were absolutely no executions during the time that Alain Poher was President, in 1969 and 1974. The French government finally voted to abolish the death penalty, even though many people might have wanted to keep practicing it. Although the death penalty was abolished in France in 1981, there are still people out there that are trying to get it re-established. However, France, in particular, has inscribed the law into its penal code and also signed international conventions on the subject, including protocol 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which prohibits going back on the abolition. To re-establish the death penalty would mean violating domestic and international law. But, recent surveys have shown that in France, 42 percent of those asked said that they supported the death penalty, whereas 52 percent were in favor of abolition. Many people say that the discussion should open back up about the death penalty, that it should come back into place, only for serious crimes. During this research project, I had to spend most of my time searching the internet because I definitely did not know much about the death penalty. Also, it made it a whole lot harder when I chose to research the death penalty in France, mostly because a lot of the places that I tried to get information from were in French. If I had chosen to write about the death penalty somewhere in the United States, I can imagine that it would have been a whole lot easier, just because everything would have been in English. Although, I like to say that this project has paid off because I learned a lot about France's government and what they were thinking when they were trying to abolish the death penalty. Then again, it could be very frustrating when I wanted to find something in a certain time period and nothing was coming up. Also it got frustrating when I would search for something in France and find what I wanted, but then realize that it was for a different country. It was very helpful when I went on to a website, like GVRL, that already had the citation done for me because that way, I didn't have to waste as much time on my works cited page. On the websites that did not just give me the citation, it helped a lot to use a works cited generator. I thought that the I-Search process was very helpful because it told you what to do step by step but I personally feel like I could have used a little more time to research. This would be because when I chose to do the death penalty in France, it made it so it was a lot harder to find sources that were in English. Therefore it took me a lot longer to find good websites that were reliable.
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Death penalty in France essay
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Death Penalty In France Essay

Words: 1495    Pages: 5    Paragraphs: 8    Sentences: 78    Read Time: 05:26
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              The death penalty is killing a person as punishment for a crime. My research question is "To what extent has the death penalty in France changed since it was first established? " Some questions that I hope to be able to answer by the end of my research are: "When was the death penalty abolished in France? ", "When did they first start the death penalty in France? ", "Do they still practice the death penalty anywhere in France? ", and "What crimes were associated with the death penalty? " Some people think the death penalty is a good punishment because of their religious beliefs, but others think that it is just plain cruel. I know that when there were public executions, the people were entertained by the executions for some reason. I don't know for sure, but I think the death penalty was abolished in the late 1900s in France, yet it is still used in other countries around the world. For their executions, the French used something called a guillotine, a machine with a heavy blade sliding vertically in grooves, which was used to behead people. Although France used the guillotine, other countries around the world had their own ways of executing people.
             
             
              The first use of the guillotine took place on April 25, 1792, when Nicolas Jacques Pelletier was beheaded at Place de Gr? ve on the Right Bank. His execution took place at 3: 30 in the afternoon. Having been the first time to use the guillotine, some people were unhappy with it. Some thought that it was too swift and clinically effective (Abbott). Using the guillotine left the crowd unsatisfied because the executions were no longer entertaining. They did not just want to see heads getting chopped off, they wanted the torture that was shown before the guillotine was used. Therefore, they wanted to go back to their old methods. Some of the methods used before the guillotine were hanging, breaking at the wheel, decapitation by sword for nobles, shooting of the right hand for thieves, and burning for heretics. But these methods were so old and hanging did not eventuate immediately. Under these conditions, French Revolution marked the modernization about the death penalty. For that reason, the guillotine was adopted. It was thought that, the guillotine was more humane way to end the life rather than the other ways of execution (Altun).
             
              The first movement of the abolition of the death penalty began on May 30, 1791. Although, that same year, the National Assembly accepted laws that refused to abolish the death penalty (Altun). Public executions in France ended in 1939. Between 1965 and 1981, only eight men were guillotined. The last execution by guillotine took place on September 10, 1977 in Marseilles, France, when the murderer Hamida Djandoubi was beheaded (The History of the Guillotine). Therefore, on September 20, 1981, France's National Assembly voted overwhelmingly by 369-116 to abolish the death penalty. At the time of the vote, 52 percent of the French public supported the death penalty while 42 percent opposed it. The decision, which sent the nation's two guillotines to museums, made France the last country in Western Europe to end the death penalty (Death Penalty). Currently, Europe is the only region in the world where the death penalty is no longer applied. All the Council of Europe's 47 member states have either abolished capital punishment or instituted a suspension on executions.
             
              Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences (Kronenwetter). In several countries, capital crimes include sexual crimes, such as rape, adultery, incest, and sodomy. Certain jurisdictions also recognize religious crimes, drug trafficking, and human trafficking as serious enough to warrant execution, and a number of militaries around the world recognize nearly any crime committed by a soldier, including insubordination, as punishable by the death penalty (McGuigan). In France, people have been executed because they have murdered children and adults, committed matricide, robbed, tortured someone, inflicted severe bodily harm, and kidnapped someone. Likewise, some places give the death penalty in cases involving the killing or molestation of minors, particularly when the details of the crime were particularly abhorrent (McGuigan). Although, in the Middle Ages, the crimes that were considered to be punishable by the death penalty were murder, theft, sacrilege, and high treason (Death Penalty - When Life Generates Death).
             
              Capital punishment has been practiced in France from the Middle Ages up until 1977. The Middle Ages was a time period of about 1000 years, from around 500 AD through 1500 AD. During that time period, capital punishment was extremely common for those who committed serious crimes. In the Middle Ages, the most common types of execution were hanging or beheading (Till). Throughout the 1500 and 1600's, witch hunts, a searching out for persecution of persons accused of witchcraft, became common. These trials led to an execution method called Burning at the Stake. Burning at the stake was a popular death sentence and means of torture, used mostly for heretics, witches, and suspicious women. Although, burning was the preferred method used by the Church, as the church authorities were not permitted to shed blood (Till). As early as the mid-1700s, there were doubts about whether the death penalty acted as a deterrent to crime. In 1751, Parliament passed an Act for better preventing the horrid crime of murder which specified that a person convicted of murder was to be kept in chains and fed on only bread and water and to be hanged within 48 hours, unless that would have been a Sunday in which case the execution was carried out on the following Monday (Paxton).
             
              During the early 1800s various crimes were punishable by death. These ranged from murder and rape to shop lifting. They also got a newer version of the guillotine during that time period. As stated before, public executions were discontinued in 1939. Also, the usual time of day for executions changed from around 3pm to dawn. The number of executions increased during the 1940's and the wartime period. Whereas, the number of executions steadily decreased in the 1950's to the 1970's. In 1950, the estimated population in France was 41,829,000. There were 7,037 death sentences that year and the amount of executions was 1,536 (Death Penalty). There were absolutely no executions during the time that Alain Poher was President, in 1969 and 1974. The French government finally voted to abolish the death penalty, even though many people might have wanted to keep practicing it.
             
              Although the death penalty was abolished in France in 1981, there are still people out there that are trying to get it re-established. However, France, in particular, has inscribed the law into its penal code and also signed international conventions on the subject, including protocol 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which prohibits going back on the abolition. To re-establish the death penalty would mean violating domestic and international law. But, recent surveys have shown that in France, 42 percent of those asked said that they supported the death penalty, whereas 52 percent were in favor of abolition. Many people say that the discussion should open back up about the death penalty, that it should come back into place, only for serious crimes.
             
              During this research project, I had to spend most of my time searching the internet because I definitely did not know much about the death penalty. Also, it made it a whole lot harder when I chose to research the death penalty in France, mostly because a lot of the places that I tried to get information from were in French. If I had chosen to write about the death penalty somewhere in the United States, I can imagine that it would have been a whole lot easier, just because everything would have been in English. Although, I like to say that this project has paid off because I learned a lot about France's government and what they were thinking when they were trying to abolish the death penalty. Then again, it could be very frustrating when I wanted to find something in a certain time period and nothing was coming up. Also it got frustrating when I would search for something in France and find what I wanted, but then realize that it was for a different country. It was very helpful when I went on to a website, like GVRL, that already had the citation done for me because that way, I didn't have to waste as much time on my works cited page. On the websites that did not just give me the citation, it helped a lot to use a works cited generator. I thought that the I-Search process was very helpful because it told you what to do step by step but I personally feel like I could have used a little more time to research. This would be because when I chose to do the death penalty in France, it made it so it was a lot harder to find sources that were in English. Therefore it took me a lot longer to find good websites that were reliable.
Death Penalty Essay 
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