JUDGE: I don’t have the right to impose the death penalty on anyone.
This is a case about a man who committed a crime.
He has a very, very strong family and a very strong connection to France.
He deserves to be punished.
But I’m not going to impose a death penalty.
I’m going to try to find a way to save this man’s life.
He needs a very special treatment in the courts.
He’s going to be buried in a private casket with a very long casket, which is a bit unusual.
He will be surrounded by a special casket.
But we don’t want the public to see his coffin.
We want him to be in a public casket that’s a bit bigger and more imposing.
I don’ think it’s appropriate.
And this is a very important case.
The public is entitled to be involved in this case, the public will make their views heard, I hope, but they can’t interfere.
The court must decide whether there is an alternative to the death sentence.
I am not ruling on the question of whether it is proper.
I have to respect the court’s decision.
There is an appeal against the decision to impose sentence.
We’re awaiting the outcome of that appeal.
I cannot give you an answer as to whether this sentence is justified.
But it’s not the only one, as we said earlier.
This case is the most serious that has been heard by the court, and the court has decided that it is appropriate.
JUDGES: So you will give it to the family of the victim?
JUDGER: I will give the family the opportunity to appeal.
The question of the life sentence is not the final decision.
It’s not up to the court.
The family can appeal.
They have the opportunity, but it is up to them.
The judge is the final arbiter.
If they want to appeal, they can.
But at the end of the day, the judge is going to decide the question and that’s the way it’s going.
JURY: Thank you very much.
Thank you. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Justice Manuel González is now in the dock for his role in the death of Jules D’Espina, an 18-year-old who was abducted in Paris in February 1995 and died in police custody the next day.
In his first appearance before a court, Gonzáles said he would impose a life sentence if convicted.
It was the first time he has faced a judge over a murder conviction in France since his conviction in 2004.
The case has drawn international attention and generated a wave of support for D’Esposito.
As we’ve heard in this segment of The Five, it has taken a long time for the French justice system to catch up to international trends.
NPR’s Jody Rosenbaum reports from Paris.