A little while ago a French jury returned guilty verdicts in the sickening murder of Ilan Halimi, a 23 year old Parisian Jew who was kidnapped, tortured for three weeks and finally burned to death by a Muslim gang called the Group of Barbarians. Twenty-seven people were on trial, including several who were minors at the time of the crime. Because of their status, the trial was closed to the public.
So far, news accounts do not disclose how many were convicted. Those not charged with murder were accused of “kidnapping by an organized group, sequestration that resulted in death or failing to assist a person in danger.”
The gang’s ringleader, Youssouf Fofana, has been sentenced to life (meaning at least 22 years) in prison. The AP reports that when the guilty verdict was announced, “Fofana mimicked applause.” This is one of those cases that explain why most people believe there are crimes for which the only appropriate punishment is death.
UPDATE: All but two of the defendants were convicted. The Halimi family has criticized some of the sentences as not long enough.