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Case:
G.P., 6-8 Feb. 1994, 25 Case Mme Aylor
Date:
15 October 1993
Translated by:
Tony Weir
Copyright:
Professor Sir B. S. Markesinis

G.P., 6-8 Feb. 1994, 25
Case Mme Aylor

15 October 1993

Given that the death penalty was abolished in France by the Law of 9 October 1981 and that article 1 of Protocol no. 6 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Liberties, incorporated into domestic law following its ratification authorised by the Law of 31 December 1985 and published pursuant to the decree of 28 February 1986, provides that “The death penalty is abolished. No one may be sentenced to death nor executed.”; Given that it would be contrary to French ordre public were the death penalty to be applied to a person extradited by the French government, and that it follows that if one of the acts in respect of which extradition is sought is punishable by the death penalty under the law of the country requesting extradition, extradition for such conduct is lawful only if the requesting country offers sufficient assurances that the death penalty will not be pronounced or executed;

Given that the grounds on which the American government seeks the extradition of Mme Aylor include capital offences, conspiracy to commit a capital offence and incitement to commit such an offence, and that under the criminal law of Texas, the state with jurisdiction in this case, an accused found guilty of a capital offence may be sentenced to death;

Given that under article 16 of the law of 10 March 1927 the chamber of accusation must refuse extradition if the preconditions laid down by law are not met; that the decision of the chamber of accusation of Aix-en-Provence on 3 July 1991 in holding that Mme Aylor may be extradited provided that the death penalty, if pronounced, is not executed neither infringes the provisions of article 16 nor is self-contradictory;

Given that by the decree under attack the French government pursuant to this opinion granted extradition to the American authorities “provided that any sentence of death pronounced against the accused by the State of Texas is not executed”; that in notes dated 27 September 1991 and 1 April 1992 the Embassy of the United States confirmed the assurance given by the American government that if Mme Aylor is condemned to death by the State of Texas, the sentence will not be carried out; furthermore, the American authorities have communicated to the French authorities an undertaking by the district attorney of Dallas County, where Mme Aylor would be tried that the relevant officer would not seek a sentence of death; that under article 37-071(1) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure such a sentence may not be pronounced unless it is sought by the government prosecutor; that this being so the applicant cannot maintain that the decree under attack lacks sufficient guarantees or that her extradition would be contrary to French ordre public;

Given that it does not appear from the documents that Mme Aylor, if extradited, would be exposed to treatment contrary to article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Liberties nor that she risks being deprived of the right to a fair trial as required by article 6-1 thereof;


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