February 22, 2020

A Disturbing Sign for the Jews of France

“Sarah Halimi’s case marks a new milestone for the already embattled French Jewish community. After a drawn out court case, on Wednesday, Nov. 27, a Paris judge dropped the murder charges against Halimi’s killer, Kobili Traoré, 29, on the grounds that smoking pot had caused him to suffer a massive “psychotic episode.”

According to police records, Traoré beat and tortured Halimi for hours—at one point with French police standing just outside her door as they waited for another unit to arrive, while calls to the police reported hearing a woman’s screams and a man shouting “Allahu akbar.” The torture ended when Traoré shoved Halimi, a retired kindergarten teacher, off of her third-floor balcony and she fell to her death.

The London based Jewish Chronicle quotes a lawyer representing the Halimi family on the consequences of the decision: “You’re saying that people can walk free after carrying out criminal action just because they were allegedly not aware of the effects of drugs or other substances?” asked Francis Szpiner. “Will this also apply to drunk drivers who kill children on the road?”

The verdict comes in the midst of ongoing efforts in France to legalize marijuana, leaving open the possibility that future murderers of Jews will have an even easier time getting away with their crimes.”

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