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France's Far-Right Leader Exploits the Paris Attack and Calls for Reviving the Death Penalty

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Here's why she's wrong.

From youtube.com/watch?v=-RCbpPe6fzw: Front National Marine Le Pen
Front National Marine Le Pen
(Image by YouTube)
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Shortly after gunmen burst into the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo and murdered a dozen people, Marine Le Pen, the leader of Front National, a far-right, anti-immigrant party, called for France to revive the death penalty, which it abolished in 1981. In an interview with France 2, she declared that capital punishment should be part "of our legal arsenal," and she vowed to hold a national referendum to restore it if she is elected president in 2017.

La Pen's remarks were not surprising. While the manhunt for the Charlie Hebdo killers was underway, she used the horrific attack to justify her own political war on Islam. And it did seem that her party, which promotes a hard-line anti-Islam and anti-immigrant message, was in a good position to gain politically.

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But, it seems, Le Pen and the suspected terrorists, Cherif Kouachi and Said Kouachi, who were killed by French authorities on Friday, shared a view: they both wanted death for the gunmen. When the Kouachi brothers were cornered in a printing plant in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, a French lawmaker who had been inside the SWAT command post told a television station that the brothers had told French negotiators they "want to die as martyrs."

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David Corn is  Mother Jones ' Washington bureau chief. For more of his stories,  click here . He's also  on  Twitter  and  FacebookRSS  |    David is (more...)
 

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