France: Better than the Firing Squad

Take that, and that. If all this will not do, I'll drown you in the malmsey butt within.

— Richard III

In the square, oak-paneled courtroom in Paris' ornate Palais de Justice, the light from four wrought-iron chandeliers set shadows flickering across the defendant's face. A fleshy six-footer with rimless glasses and a bushy black pompadour, he sat impassively as five judges discussed his crimes. Jean-Marie Curutchet, 33, former paratroop captain in the French army and a top terrorist of the Secret Army Organization, stood indicted on 50 counts ranging from desertion through plastic bombings and machine-gunning of police stations....

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