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NCJ Number: 49499 Find in a Library
Title: CAN THE DEATH PENALTY BE REPLACED?
Journal: REVUE PENITENTIAIRE ET DE DROIT PENAL  Issue:4  Dated:(OCTOBER/DECEMBER 1977)  Pages:545-572
Author(s): M SAVEY-CASARD
Corporate Author: Societe Generale des Prisons et de Legislation Criminelle
France
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: Societe Generale des Prisons et de Legislation Criminelle
Paris, France
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: FOLLOWING A REVIEW OF THE SO-CALED 'WORSE THAN DEATH' SUBSTITUTES FOR THE DEATH PENALTY IN 18TH AND 19TH CENTURY EUROPE, IT IS ARGUED THAT LONG-TERM IMPRISONMENT WITH A CHANCE FOR PAROLE IS A MORE HUMANE DETERRENT.
Abstract: IN THE COURSE OF THE LAST TWO CENTURIES, EUROPEAN PENOLOGY EXPERIMENTED WITH A VARIETY OF ALTERNATIVES TO EXECUTION, INCLUDING FORCED LABOR, LIFE TERM SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, AND MIXED SENTENCES INVOLVING INITIAL PERIODS OF COMPLETE ISOLATION AND GENERAL INCARCERATION. IN SOME INSTANCES, DARKENED NARROW CELLS, WAIST MANACLES, AND BREAD AND WATER DIETS WERE COMBINED WITH A LIFE TERM--AN APPROACH THAT ALMOST ALWAYS RESULTED IN PERMANENT INSANITY. THE LESSON THAT EMERGES FROM THESE REFORMS IS THAT ABOLITIONISTS DEFEAT THEIR OWN HUMANITARIAN MOTIVES BY ATTEMPTING TO SUBSTITUTE AN EQUALLY HARSH PUNISHMENT FOR THE DEATH SENTENCE; IT IS NO BETTER TO CAUSE SOMEONE TO SUFFER WITHOUT DYING THAN TO HAVE THEM DIE WITHOUT SUFFERING. IN MORE RECENT TIMES, THE IDEA OF INTIMIDATION THROUGH PUNISHMENT HAS LOST GROUND TO THE CONCEPT OF REHABILITATION. WHILE THE GOAL OF PROTECTING SOCIETY FROM CRIMINALS HAS NOT BEEN DISCARDED, CREATING FEAR OF PUNISHMENT IS NO LONGER SEEN AS THE ONLY SOLUTION. IN THE ABSENCE OF A REPLACEMENT PUNISHMENT TO MATCH THE SEVERITY OF THE DEATH PENALTY, THE DIMINISHED SEVERITY MUST BE OFFSET BY VAST REFORM PROGRAMS. IN THE LONG RUN THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO ALLOW CONVICTS THE HOPE OF REGAINING THEIR FREEDOM, PARTICULARLY IF REFORM AND RESOCIALIZATION REMAIN THE GOALS OF PENAL POLICY. INSTEAD OF CREATING SEVERE AND INHUMANE MEASURES FOR PUNISHING AN INCARCERATED OFFENDER FOR LIFE, EQUALLY ENERGETIC BUT POSITIVE SYSTEMS SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED TO REINTEGRATE AND SUPERVISE SUCH OFFENDERS PAROLED AFTER SUITABLY LONG TERMS OF INCARCERATION. --IN FRENCH. (KBL)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Correctional reform; Western Europe
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49499

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