Any one who removed a boundary stone was accursed (sacer) and might be slain with impunity; a fine was afterwards substituted for the death penalty.
The president had made up his mind that the sentence must be carried out; the congress by a great majority were resolved not to permit the death penalty to be inflicted.
He favoured the death penalty for spies, but after the war advocated amnesty for political prisoners.
He had, however, entered the ranks of the Girondins, and had voted in the trial of the king against the death penalty and in favour of the appeal to the people.
On the 24th of February 1848 he was chosen by the Republicans as a member of the provisional government, and as minister of justice he secured the decrees abolishing the death penalty for political offences, and making the office of judge immovable.