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Feb 12, 2024

Robert Badinter, Former French Justice Minister, and Death Penalty Abolitionist, Dies at 95

Robert Badinter, a fierce defend­er of human rights, defense lawyer, and for­mer French jus­tice min­is­ter who led the effort to abol­ish the death penal­ty in his coun­try, died on February 9, 2024. Mr. Badinter influ­enced many legal changes, includ­ing laws that decrim­i­nal­ized homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, improved prison con­di­tions, and advo­cat­ed for his own par­tic­u­lar con­cept of jus­tice. As a defense lawyer, Mr. Badinter wit­nessed the exe­cu­tion of one of his clients, and vivid­ly recalled the hor­rors involved with the use of the guil­lo­tine. In 1981, one of his first offi­cial actions as…