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Should we have the death penalty?

Confidential staff debate the merits of a return of the death penalty following Channel 4’s, The Execution of Gary Glitter.

Published on November 12th 2009.

Should we have the death penalty?

Yes to the death penalty

How many times have you gasped in revulsion in the knowledge that a convicted murderer, rapist or paedophile is going to see the light of day as a member of society again?

Our justice system is not working.

Prisons are overcrowded and are often more like hotels, pandering to the rights of prisoners - rather than the hostile environments they should be as part of a punishment regime. Added to this, the nature of the 'naughty step' judicial system is an open invitation for criminals to re-offend. And re-offend they do.

Far too much emphasis is placed on the convicted murderer, the one being executed if the death penalty were to be re-introduced. The victim is forgotten. Human rights laws are plastered all over a person who has no respect for human life and the outcome is that murderers, rapists and child abusers still have all the rights they took away from their victims in the first place.

The only issue for debate in the matter of capital punishment is the innocent. We all know that errors in the criminal justice process have occurred and will continue to occur with or without the death penalty. Modern day advancements in DNA testing alongside appeals processes mean we continue to strive to punish the guilty only.

As G Edward Griffin, author of The Great Prison Break wrote: "If we design a legal system that will be so generous to the suspect that there is absolutely no possibility of unjustly convicting that one out of ten thousand defendants who, in spite of overwhelming evidence, is really innocent, then we have also designed a legal system that is utterly incapable of convicting the other 9999 about whose guilt there is no mistake."

Back to the death penalty specifically. For Society to function in a safe, secure and free way, we must be confident that criminals who commit the ultimate crime, the taking of life from another, will be apprehended and dealt with in a way which is commensurate to that crime.

A life for a life - it's as simple as that. Society’s revenge for the ultimate crime.

No second chances for those who deny people any chance at all.

No to the death penalty

The Execution of Gary Glitter as a TV show was a cheap trick. To use a ‘celebrity’ in its show trial and to try him for crimes which have never carried the death penalty in Britain, showed that despite the pro and cons debate attempted during its ninety minutes of airtime, it was ultimately a ratings grabbing, sensationalist exercise.

The simple fact is that the death penalty has no affect on crime levels and brutalises the societies that have it.

The list of nations who still have capital punishment is headed by China and its outrageous execution rate of 5000 per annum. Then you get Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and so on. A role call of despotic, autocratic regimes ruled by one party states, or still under the cosh of medieval dogmatic religious groups and their one-eyed point of view. They are everything the West since the Enlightenment has been trying to move away from.

Oh, and then there’s the United States.

Or certain of the United States, shame on them. These sorry administrations in their capital punishment systems, move through a progression of trial, verdict, appeal, appeal, appeal and last ditch appeal, until years later in some vile ritual prisoners receive lethal injection or the electric chair. Talk about ‘cruel and unusual’.

This macabre dance of death would be the future British way if capital punishment were re-introduced. Any road to execution would have to be tortuous. The fear of killing a condemned murderer who subsequent evidence may reveal was innocent (and we’ve had a few of those recently haven’t we?) would make any process drag on and on.

Of course to make sure we don’t short change victims a life sentence should mean life (imprisonment until death) with a review, perhaps at 25 years, to see if the prisoner may be rehabilitated into Society.

But we should never embrace the death penalty again. It is brutal, savage, raw vengeance; it is old fashioned and out of time. It’s legalised murder. We have to be better than this. Or rather we have to hope we are better than this.

And if more than 50% as the Channel 4 programme claimed, think the death penalty should be brought back, then our more intelligent and thoughtful population should continue to tell them they’re wrong.

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DigNovember 12th 2009.

Bring it back. As long as once a year the public get to vote on which 'celebrity' gets it! I can see a new reality tv show on the way!!

DistastefulNovember 12th 2009.

The Ex Factor, Strictly Come Dangling.Have I Got Noose For You.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2009.

I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here

BookermanNovember 12th 2009.

What about 'Britains got Violent'

Salad DazeNovember 12th 2009.

Rupert Murdoch? Hanging's too good for him.

DigNovember 12th 2009.

A new version of the show hosted by Vic and Bob. 'Shooting Stars'.

ReefermanNovember 12th 2009.

Celebrity Wife Chop, hosted by Peter Sutcliffe

Ronnie de RamperNovember 12th 2009.

Executions to be shown, 'live' and kicking, on the 9 o'clock Noose. And while we're at it, why not introduce some community participation. Legalised lynching, for example; or hunting criminals with dogs. If it's deterrence we seek, then tearing the guilty apart with wild horses could be a start, prior to sticking their head on a stake. And now we've got an Arena, simply turn it into a colosseum every Saturday night by filling it full of criminals and wild animals. Oh, wait...we already do.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2009.

Until around 1800 there were public gallows in London Road, close to where TJs now stands. Wrongdoers were left to swing there in full gaze of the public. No doubt it was partly as a deterrent. There is little doubt a public referendum for capital punishment would win by a majority vote, even high if the question was for public executions.The real issue for society is that killers and rapists are given sentences far too lenient. A jail stretch of 30, 40 or 50 years would make people think twice.Whether the interests of the victims or the families of victims are addressed is nothing to do with the sentences imposed on the guilty.Around 2,300 people were sentenced to death in the courtroom at St George's Hall and held in the condemned cell before being carted off to Walton for their appointment with Mr Pierpoint. There's no place for legalised executions in the 21st century.

Liz EarleNovember 29th 2011.

The death Penalty should be brought back.With DNA these days the chances are the right person will be sentenced.As years ago innocent people were being sentenced to the death .The death penalty is to good for some of the Animals out there!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 29th 2011.

Totally Agree!!

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