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War, Government and Power in Late Medieval France$
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Christopher Allmand

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853236955

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314421

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 06 June 2020

Justification and Theory of the Death Penalty at the Parlement of Paris in the Late Middle Ages

Justification and Theory of the Death Penalty at the Parlement of Paris in the Late Middle Ages

Chapter:
(p.190) 11 Justification and Theory of the Death Penalty at the Parlement of Paris in the Late Middle Ages
Source:
War, Government and Power in Late Medieval France
Author(s):

Claude Gauvard

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780853236955.003.0011

This chapter examines whether the crown of France used the courts to extend its authority during the late medieval period, focusing on the application of the death penalty by the Parlement of Paris. It argues that the royal court's sentencing policy was intended to reconcile and heal a society affected by public crime, rather than impose virtually mandatory sentences of death and hence to create martyrs. For crimes of violence, both the victim's kin and the wider community demanded some kind of retribution or vengeance. However, death penalty might do more harm than good to a social fabric that was already damaged. Thus, judges sentenced criminals not to impose the power of the state upon those who violated the law, but to heal rifts in society caused by crime.

Keywords:   France, courts, death penalty, Parlement, sentencing, crimes, vengeance, retribution, justice

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