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Olivier Dechaud, Co-founder of ECPM shares his memories of Robert Badinter

Robert Badinter at the 1st World Congress Against the Death Penalty. Strasbourg, 2001

“I am connected to ECPM through two avenues. The first is historical, as I am one of the founders of the association. I had the opportunity to establish a structure and to witness its evolution without deviating from its original theme. The second dates back to my youth. At nineteen, I did two important things: I obtained my driver’s license and voted socialist! I am clearly a child of 1981, of the Mitterand era. And listening to Robert Badinter defend the abolition of the death penalty left a long-lasting impression on me; it was politically formative.

My most memorable moment of this remarkable journey: witnessing Robert Badinter, during the first World Congress against the Death Penalty in Strasbourg, deliver a speech twenty years after his address at the National Assembly. I recall his presence at the podium, his eloquence, and the silence in the hall as he commanded everyone’s attention… It was a powerful experience!

Robert Badinter’s presence at this Congress was firstly a recognition of our legitimacy, a sort of passing of the abolitionist struggle to our association. It also showed that the fight was still relevant, that it was not over. Symbolically, he embodies the face of this struggle in France and elsewhere in the world.”

Olivier Dechaud

Olivier Dechaud, ECPM Co-founder

In 2000, a modest publishing house released a book titled “Open Letter to Americans for the Abolition of the Death Penalty.” Written by Michel Taube, designed by Olivier Déchaud, and propelled by Jean-François Daniel, it was this book and these three names that gave rise to Ensemble contre la peine de mort (ECPM), or Together Against the Death Penalty.

Twenty-four years later, the three volunteers from the beginning and the actions of the association have gained international significance.