France Furious About Dominique Strauss-Kahn Perp Walk


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In France, it is illegal to show pictures of people accused of crimes before they have been convicted, because the French believe that this tramples upon the presumption of innocence.So not surprisingly, there was widespread outrage at the perp walk of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, which, in the great American tradition, was a humiliation ritual and media circus.

Steven Erlanger and Katrin Bennhold in the New York Times:

The former French justice minister whose name is on the [no perp walk] law, Elisabeth Guigou, said she found the photos of Mr. Strauss-Kahn in cuffs indicative of “a brutality, a violence, of an incredible cruelty, and I’m happy that we don’t have the same judiciary system.”

Ms. Guigou, a Socialist like Mr. Strauss-Kahn and a member of Parliament, told France Info radio that the American system “is an accusatory system,” while in France, “we have a system that takes perhaps a little more time but which is, despite everything, more protective of individual rights.”

Another commentator, Max Gallo, said this was the” first time in the history of France that a top-level official is treated like a common criminal whose guilt is already established.” But he also noted that the American system is more egalitarian.

Read more at the New York Times >