Hamida Djandoubi

Hamida Djandoubi

Hamida Djandoubi (Arabic: حميدة جندوبي‎) (c. 1949 – 10 September 1977) was the last person to be guillotined in France, at Baumettes Prison in Marseille.[1] He was a Tunisian immigrant who had been convicted of the torture and murder of 21-year-old Elisabeth Bousquet, his former girlfriend, in Marseille. Marcel Chevalier served as chief executioner.[2]
[edit] Biography

Born in Tunisia around 1949, in 1968 Djandoubi started living in Marseille and working in a grocery store. He went on to work as a landscaper but had a workplace accident in 1971 that resulted in the loss of two-thirds of his right leg.

In 1973, a 21-year-old woman named Elisabeth Bousquet, whom Djandoubi had met in the hospital while recovering from his amputation, filed a complaint against him claiming that he had tried to force her into prostitution.

After his arrest and eventual release from custody during the spring of 1973, Djandoubi drew two other young girls into his confidence and then forced them to "work" for him. The idea of taking revenge on his accuser never left his mind. In July 1974, he kidnapped Bousquet and took her into his home where, in full view of the terrified girls, he beat the woman before stubbing a lit cigarette all over her breasts and genital area. Bousquet survived the ordeal so Djandoubi took her by car to the outskirts of Marseille and strangled her there.

On his return Djandoubi warned the two girls to say nothing of what they had seen. Bousquet's body was discovered in a shed by a boy on 7 July 1974. One month later, Djandoubi kidnapped another girl who managed to escape and report him to police.

After a lengthy pre-trial process, Djandoubi eventually appeared in court in Aix-en-Provence on charges of torture-murder, rape and premeditated violence on 24 February 1977. His main defence revolved around the supposed effects of the amputation of his leg six years earlier which his lawyer claimed had driven him to a paroxysm of alcohol abuse and violence, turning him into a different man. On 25 February he was condemned to death. An appeal against his sentence was rejected on 9 June, and in the early morning of 10 September 1977, Djandoubi was informed that, no more than Christian Ranucci (guillotined on 1976 July 28th) , and Jerôme Carrein (guillotined on 1977 June 23d), both child rapists and murderers, he would not receive a presidential reprieve from President Valery Giscard d'Estaing. Shortly afterwards, at 4:40 a.m., he was executed by guillotining.

Hamida Djandoubi's life story is told in the book When the Guillotine Fell [3]. written by the Canadian author Jeremy Mercer.

While Djandoubi was the last person executed in France, he was not the last condemned.[4] But no more executions occurred after capital punishment was abolished in France in 1981 following the election of François Mitterrand.[1]

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