A Question Of Judgment

JEAN AYISSI / AFP-GETTY IMAGES

RECOVERING: Police officer Ludovic Aubriot was ambushed by up to 20 youths

When you're a hard-liner on crime, but crime goes up, what do you do? If you're French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, you blame the judges. Last week, Le Monde published a letter from the head of Seine-St.-Denis — ground zero of last year's riots and one of the country's most crime-ridden districts — expressing anguish over an "upsurge of crime."

This was bad timing given Sarkozy's ambitions to run for President next May. The Minister could hardly blame the police, especially after two officers in a neighboring department were severely beaten by as many as 20 young men....

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