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NCJ Number: 90951 Find in a Library
Title: New System of Criminal Offenses in the Law 'Security and Liberty'
Journal: Revue internationale de criminologie et de police technique  Volume:34  Issue:1  Dated:(January-March 1981)  Pages:7-26
Author(s): M-L Rassat
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 20
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: Switzerland
Annotation: A discussion of recent reforms in the French criminal code focuses on fixed penalties established for certain serious crimes, the question of whether the new laws are an instrument of social repression, and characterization of the real modifications effected in criminal law. Changes in specific articles are then detailed.
Abstract: The new law defines set procedures for dealing with recidivists, probation, and extenuating circumstances for offenses committed. Sentences are prescribed for a certain number of offenses, e.g., murder, assassination, parricide, and rape. The list thus successfully stigmatizes all crimes involving physical violence, although certain crimes with dangerous potential, e.g., robbery, have been omitted. The author argues that the legal modifications do not represent an instrument of social repression because no new offenses have been created by the legal reforms and because principles such as mitigating circumstances have reduced the danger of social repression resulting from biases in criminal law to the lowest level ever. The legal revisions represent an attempt to simplify the excessively technical definitions of offenses that evolved from the Penal Code of 1810 and to reduce the repressive nature of penalties. Furthermore, in the wording of the new laws, emphasis has shifted from the offender who committed the offense to the offense itself. Specific changes in separate articles of the penal code are presented in detail and notes are supplied. For part two of the article, see NCJ-90776.
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; France; Law reform; Violent crimes
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