Mercy or Injustice?

At City Journal, Dalrymple writes of the rather difficult case of Jacqueline Sauvage, a French woman who did nothing for decades as her husband violently abused her and sexually assaulted all three of their daughters but then finally, at the age of 70, shot him to death. She was convicted of murder but was then recently pardoned by outgoing French President Francois Hollande:

…her lawyers characterized the presidential pardon as “an extremely strong message sent to women who suffer domestic violence. It has become symbolic. It doesn’t mean that you must kill to survive but that you must do all that is possible not to reach that stage.”

This is nonsense, of course. The message, if anything, is precisely the opposite: you will not be treated too severely if you kill your violent husband, even if you have made no other efforts to avoid his violence. If you put up with it for long enough, in fact, you can kill him.

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