Robert Badinter & Neal Katyal | LIVE from the NYPL





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Published on Oct 7, 2008


"Abolition: One Man's Battle Against the Death Penalty," ROBERT BADINTER in conversation with NEAL KATYAL, LIVE from the NYPL, September 19, 2008.

Robert Badinter, the French Minister of Justice between 1981 and 1986, led the battle to abolish the death penalty in France. He became a militant abolitionist after watching one of his clients unjustly guillotined in 1972. Over the next decade, he fought the death penalty in the courts and saved six men from the guillotine. After the election of François Mitterrand in 1981, Badinter was named Minister of Justice and pushed through the legislation that abolished the death penalty.

Badinter's book, Abolition: One Man's Battle Against the Death Penalty, serves as a guidebook on the various legal and political strategies that can be used in the quest for abolition. With U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Badinter recently co-authored a book on the role of judges.

In a discussion about the death penalty, Badinter is joined by Neal Katyal who won Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in the United States Supreme Court and who, in July 2008, agreed to serve as lead counsel for the State of Louisiana, in asking the United States Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to abolish the use of the death penalty for child rapists. Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, introduce the conversation. Roth wrote the forward for Badinter's book, Abolition.

Filming: One Dream Sound
Editing: James Murdock

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