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If the UK was able to reintroduce the death penalty, should it?

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AB Editor | 15:44 Fri 18th Dec 2009 | News
31 Answers
With focus on certain in-balances in the sentencing system of the UK coming to light, and many claiming the current sentences for serious crime is lacking, should the UK government (if it was able) reintroduce the death penalty in Britain?
 

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Answers:

  • No, but life should mean life. - 49 votes
  • 46%
  • Yes. - 46 votes
  • 43%
  • No, the current sentencing system is adequate. - 11 votes
  • 10%

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I'd hate to think the number of people who would have been hanged wrongly during the past 40 years.

But I believe a change in the law is necessary. If a convicted person refuses to admit to his guilt or shows no remorse then parole is usually out of the question. But its like saying 'have you stopped beating your wife'. If you say YES then it supposes who have beat her in the past. If you say NO then you still have evil intent.

Therefore an innocent person convicted of murder is in a no-win situation.
Philtaz - “... the advent of modern forensic techniques have ensured certainty...”, “... so why allow them [Ian Huntley & Roy Whiting] to live at the taxpayers expense?”

I think you'd struggle to find someone who doesn't agree with you about the two individuals mentioned. But these two were convicted using the exact same criteria as other people who have subsequently been found to be innocent, ie. a trial with a jury of their peers.

Part of me wants to agree with you but I don't believe that the death sentence is any real deterrent against horrific crimes such as murder. The overwhelming majority of murders are not premeditated – they're spur of the moment acts. So thoughts of retribution after the event are not even considerations. No matter how punitive the punishment is, you'll never stop people being murdered. It's a fallacy to think that you can. Also, I'm not so confident in the accuracy of forensic evidence as you seem to be. It's not quite the 'silver bullet' that the media would have you believe – it's good but it's not perfect.

So to me, it comes down to one simple question - what if we convict and kill an innocent person?

Is the killing of just one innocent person a price worth paying?

So a question to you Philtaz, Keyplus and others who agree with capital punishment - Would you still be in favour of it if it were you or a member of your family who was wrongly accused, convicted and executed?
To answer the question posed in your last paragraph birdie, it's a moot point I'm afraid. Yours is a completely hypothetical question.

What is not in question is the forensic evidence against Huntley and Whiting. Furthermore, there were witnesses who placed them either at the scene in each respective case or at the scene (in Huntley's case) of where the bodies were found.

As for deterrent's, invariably in such cases these types of individuals cannot be deterred. Deterrents in this type of crime are nigh on impossible. They are predatory criminals who prey on the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society - children.

So, as their guilt is not in doubt and they can never be rehabilitated into society, why allow them to live? Even the father of one of Huntley's victims felt he would have had closure or at least some sense of justice if Huntley was executed. I can't begin to imagine what private hell the parents of Holly, Jessica and Sarra must have gone through, playing over in their minds their respective children's last minutes and the torment, pain and torture they suffered.

As I've stated, financial considerations now creep into every facet of society. Cancer patients are denied certain drugs that may prolong their lives as a result of budgets and cutbacks. Ergo, so it should prevail in the Criminal Jusctice system.
why can't the vote include enough options to balance you the results and make it "fair" - it requires the option to select "NO - but the current sentencing system needs adjusting".

The mandatory life sentence needs to be removed for the crime of murder - as I'm sure we can all agree not all murders are as equally guilty / bad; think of a man that kills a loved one to end their suffering from a terminal illness and compare with a man that kills scores of people because he enjoys it - not the same crime, not both equally "bad" to my mind but both would get a mandatory life sentence. AND this is the reason that we have such a problem with life sentences because judges are not free to sentence as they see most appropriate.
No one ever talked about capital punishment for wrongly accused. Now a day with all the advancements in science it is easier than before to find out. And whenever I post "YES" about CP I always assume it is for someone who has been proved guilty without doubt or someone who has confessed without any wrong influence. And on that ground to answer your question, yes if anyone of my own family has been proved guilty then I will have no objection about capital punishment. Law and the implication of law has to be same for everyone otherwise corruption prevails.
".....Law and the implication of law has to be same for everyone otherwise corruption prevails......"

Not enough global civilisation as yet to live by above edict.
Keyplus – You said, “... whenever I post "YES" about CP I always assume it is for someone who has been proved guilty without doubt or someone who has confessed without any wrong influence.”

Yes, in an ideal world I would agree with you. But we don't live in that world do we? How can you be sure that a confession hasn't been wrongfully obtained? And by definition, anyone found guilty of murder has been proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt. But mistakes have always and will always be made.

Ever heard of Stefan Kiszko? He confessed to the murder of Lesley Molseed and was subsequently convicted of her murder in what is considered to be one of the worst miscarriageges of justice ever in the UK. This man was entirely innocent.

http://en.wikipedia.o...der_of_Lesley_Molseed


And Keyplus, please read what people actually write – not what you think they write.

I asked the question, “Would you still be in favour of it if it were you or a member of your family who was wrongly accused, convicted and executed?” You answered, “... if anyone of my own family has been proved guilty then I will have no objection about capital punishment”

I think you'll find that the operative word in my original question was, “wrongly”.
Philtaz – I fail to see how asking a hypothetical question on a matter such as this is a moot point as this whole debate revolves around a philosophical perspective.

That aside, I completely agree that the physical and circumstantial evidence in the Huntley case and the Whiting case suggests that the possibility of a wrongful conviction is so vanishingly small as to be none existent.

However, murder is murder. For every 'nailed on' conviction, there are numerous not-so-convincing convictions. And it is these I am talking about.

Take a modern example such as Barry George who was convicted in July 2001 of murdering Jill Dando. His conviction was deemed to be unsafe in November 2007 and he was acquitted in August 2008. At his original trial, various forensic evidence was produced linking him to the scene of the murder. It turned out to be wrong. There's no doubt that Barry George is an oddball. But that doesn't make him a murderer and it means that an innocent man would have been killed if Capital Punishment was still practised.


So it all boils down to a question which you consider to be a moot point...

Is the killing of an innocent person a price worth paying for the reintroduction of Capital Punishment?
Death penalty is too quick. A convicted murderer needs to live out the rest of their days in squalor with just enough food to keep them alive.
If you wont have then outsource the b***ds to thailand to live out their days in one of their jails.
Only read the first post and that incensed me. It's not about revenge at all. People can literally get away with murder these days, and that is not on for those of us who choose to live life in a fair and sociable way. Get rid of a few of these wastes of space and some people might think again about what they can and can't get away with.

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