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Bring Back The UK Death Penalty

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Confront a yob on the top deck of a bus, or a bunch of louts loitering outside your front door, and you risk being stabbed, shot or kicked to death. With the increase in drugs, guns and lawlessness, Britain is awash with criminals who do not hesitate to casually and cruelly end a life. We constantly hear about police being shot, babies being raped, girls kidnapped, raped and murdered, and citizens robbed and killed. Re-introducing the death penalty in the UK is therefore a topic that is increasingly gathering steam. This message is the same from Gav′s POLITICS, UK CJ Weblog and Away with Mike, to Then Three Come Along, Commonwealth Watch, GraBlog and Musings of a blonde, from the BNP to the UK Independence Party, a Labour Councillor, a former police chief and a Shadow home secretary. If it is correct that we bloggers have political power, the blogs of the UK must unite around a rallying cry of ‘Bring Back the Death Penalty’.

In England, the House of Commons concluded that capital punishment must be seen as inhuman and degrading and abolished capital punishment in 1973. The death penalty is now prohibited by Protocol 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Also Article 7 of the EU treaty states that action will be taken against member states where there is a ‘clear risk of a human rights breach’. However, we citizens also have rights and the death penalty should have a place in our protection as a last resort and reminder that there are crimes so heinous that only the ultimate penalty is sufficient.

New Labour won the 1997 general election with its flagship policy, “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”. This initiative has long been lost, with crime on the increase nationally and across Europe, violent crime increasing, high homicide rates, sexual offences spiralling and large percentages of offenders being reconvicted within a two year period. It is therefore apparent that on average the criminal justice system does not achieve its objectives of deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation and protecting the public. It has previously been argued, “If the question is how we can restrain known, convicted criminals from murdering, raping, assaulting, burglarising and thieving?’ prison is by far the most effective answer short of the death penalty”. As imprisonment alone has not worked in practice, we now need to go one step further.

It is evident that the past use of imprisonment as the highest form of punishment has failed to achieve its objectives as a method of crime control. In terms of whether imprisonment could be made to work, there are strong implications that it fails to achieve the purposes of sentencing under the Criminal Justice Act 2003. I concede that the Act has only recently been implemented to some extent and only time will tell whether the methods to be used in the seamless end to end sentencing will achieve the prescribed purposes of sentencing. Based on the current available evidence it appears that some of the sentencing purposes are not achieved with reference the majority of offenders. It’s role within the criminal justice system must be overhauled so that punishments for crimes are regarded by citizens and offenders as inevitable, instantaneous, severe, flexible and comprehensive. There will always be individuals that need to be sanctioned and segregated from society because of the behaviour they display and the risks that they pose. It is important that while this process is enacted, that the offenders concerned are presented and prompted with effective options to modify their behaviour through the relevant means. Furthermore, there will always be individuals that commit crimes so heinous that only the death penalty is sufficient.

Whether or not offenders will consider the ultimate deterrent prior to their offence, the fact remains that punishments must fit the crime. In the interests of justice, the perpetrators of crime must receive punishments that are proportionate to the crime as well as equivalent. When offenders are sentenced to life they should serve life, and when they take life they should receive a sentence of death. Longer sentences and the re-introduction of the death penalty is the only way forward in stopping the scourge of violent crime and lawlessness that infects our streets.

If you are a UK blogger in support of re-introducing the Death Penalty, feel free to cut, paste and link to this post at Opinionated Voice.

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  • [MR]Chip

    The crime statistic you’ve linked to is in absolute numbers, it doesn’t compensate for population growth, other take into account other long term influences like economic cycles.

    As for the things you constantly hear about – well, that’s the media for ya.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    jamal, with all due respect, this notion is sickening, abhorant an fairly ridiculous.

    what you propose is state-sponsored vengeance, not justice by any stretch of the imagination. (someone else said that, the vengeance thing, in similar words, but for the life of me i can’t recall who, although the fizzog of ol’ Neitchze is most vivid)

    the idea that the death penalty is a deterrent is just nonsense, nothin more. are we to assume that where the death penalty is present crimes are not? that the knowledge that oh, i’ll be killed for this, stops people killing? i don’t think so.

    what you end up with is a system that kills killers for a multitude of reasons, certainly, the aforementioned vengeance, for political reasons, for distorted ideas of justice informed less by any JUSTICE and more by the political climate of the time, but no detterent under any definition of the word.

    it’s a horrendous idea, and what of the ol’ mis-trial, what of the misscarriage of justice? how to rememdy these grotesque errors when the wrongly accused is long-since lain cross steel an needled-up front glarin witnesses? do we kill the judges, who murdered an innocent person for suposedly doing the same thing?

    not to mention the effects of living in a society that routinely kills mentally ill criminals an suposes such wretched terrors to be just an RIGHT. if we look up to folks who solve problems by gassin an slayin an electrocuting anyone who steps over certain lines for whatever reasons, what the hell are WE suposed to think, how are WE supposed to react to slights on our persons?

    Barbarism is still barbarism, whether operating under some perverted notion of justice or otherwise. Hitler operated under just that notion, lest we forget.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Before the UK even considers the death penalty a far more effective measure would be the complete legalization of handguns for private ownership and the decriminalization of their use for the defense of self and property. As demonstrated again and again that would be a far more effective deterrent than the death penalty.

    An armed society is a polite society.

    Dave

  • http://opinionated.blogsome.com/ jamal

    Mr Chip, its not just the media, these things actually occur. I work within the CJS so know better then most that the extent of serious crime in the UK is at a significant level.

    As stated and contrary to Aaron’s comments, I do not place significance on capital punishment as a deterrent. For the main fact that crime has constantly increased and not been significantly affected by any form of crime controls or punishments, there are therefore no significant deterrents. What I argue and support is that proper punishments must be delivered for relevant crimes. It is not about deterring or revenge, but about justice.

    “In the interests of justice, the perpetrators of crime must receive punishments that are proportionate to the crime as well as equivalent. When offenders are sentenced to life they should serve life, and when they take life they should receive a sentence of death”.

    We see the two men convicted of killing and raping the girl in Thailand. Nothing will bring her back, but her family and many others will find some satisfaction in the fact that they will be executed for their crimes. This is much more satis factory and appropriate then the average 15 year sentence they would have received in the UK, where they would have spent in a prison where their cell contain home furnishings and electronical gadgets.

    In a system with appropriate safeguards where such a punishment is delivered after great care has been taken to ensure a sound conviction, perpetrators of relevant crimes will be duely be punished for taking the lives of their victims and committing heinous crimes. This is much more appropriate then the 15 years on average served for a life sentence in the UK, which evidently fail to reduce crime, punish offenders, protect the public and acknowledge the suffering of victims and their families.

    As with Islamic law, the victim’s family should also have a right to accept compensation from the perpetrator instead or indeed make use of clemency and, of course, the state should only have the right to apply the ultimate sanction if it abides by all the rules itself.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    “Nothing will bring her back, but her family and many others will find some satisfaction in the fact that they will be executed for their crimes.”

    Jamal, this is certainly correct, but the price on the damn soul of the country, if such a thing is even plausible, would be greater than any individual sense of satistfaction could hope to cover.

    desire for some sort of vengeance is a totally understandable emotional weight, but when it comes to matters of state and political & social policy, emotional weight HAS to be discarded, there’s no way anything but utmost terror can result from a criminal justice system that places more emphasis on the emotional results of a punishment on those originally victimised than on the notion of justice itself.

    to draw the notion to its conceivable conclusion, where does it end, this satisfaction? an orphan grows up to kill two children from a large family, for to give an example out thin air. said killer is killed by way of “punishment”. is this ANY sort of fair deal for the family, if we’re to assume that the crime is equal to the resultant punishment? if for the loss of two children loved dearly by a large family, we offer the life of one individual with NO family, with no-one especially caring one way or the other, is this REALLY a fair deal? isn’t it just a slaying that offers no real comfort to anyone?

    so if the notion of some sort of satisfaction offered is this shakable, when we think about it, surely it stands to reason that it’s no grounds whatsoever for ANOTHER life being taken?

    murder is murder. and if thats a punishment to fit the crime, then why don’t we steal from thieves? why don’t we rape rapists?

  • http://opinionated.blogsome.com/ jamal

    Do we not take the freedom of theives and rapists, just as they take the property and sexual activity from others?

    In the same sense we must take from the murderer, but the fact remains that there is no punishment proportinate or equivilent other then capital punishment itself. I agree that there are many side effects and casulties to such an option. But it can only be justice if murderers receive true punishment for their crimes, of which can only be execution.

  • http://opinionated.blogsome.com/ jamal

    Just to add. Note I am only arguing such a penalty for crimes of murder. Life for Life. Nevertheless, if you look at Saudi Arabia, while they do quite a few unIslamic things there, crime is very low compared to other countries, particularly in Mecca, where it is not uncommon for shopkeepers to just leave their shops open if they left for a bit. So clearly the harsh punishments have an effect here. I do not argue this as a definitive case, considering in countries like Japan or Denmark there are low crime rates and no death penalty. Maybe these countries provide an atmosphere which prevents crimes at the root. Since this does not occur in the UK, we must begin somewhere and this should be in having clear and harsh penalties for the perpetrators of crime. Crime is out of control, the murder rate is increasing as is the blatent disregard for life. Therefore reintroducing the death penalty is the most positive way forward at present.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    but can we combat what you refer to as a blatant disregard for life by having our leaders display just that disregard?

    point taken on freedom being removed as punishment for material things being stolen, i was thinking that i was writing actually, but you can see how such an argument could be made.

    i beleve the death penalty to be an abhorant, barbaric means of punishment whatever the case, but this isn’t to say i don’t sympathise in part with the calls of, say, family members of the murdered to have this kind of punishment administered. but a fella has to recognise the part emotions are playing here, which is not to undervalue them, i’d feel rotten if i DIDN’T have some part of me goin “that fucker needs hung” for example, as a knee-jerk reaction to some tragic crime of some sort. but that kind of thinking cannot be the basis for our justice system, it just can’t, becuase for one thing, it’s far too grey an area. to say that everyone charged with murder and found guilty IS in fact guilty is as demented a notion as saying everyone found innocent is innocent. it’s just not the case, and the idea of someone being killed on account of these errors, i dunno how anyone could sleep at night knowing they played a part, at whatever level, in having this happen.

    to propose the death penalty as A – any sort of positive movement, and B- as some kind of stepping stone to a better way is something i find very difficult to accept. and i don’t, in fact. every single area of british life needs some sort of reform, education primarily. i think also things are a lot better than the doom-doused image painted in your post (which, whilst i disagree with it entirely, was an excellent piece, if one i find difficult to read). Education reform is at the core of a chain of events that need to occur, but the idea of reinstating a death penalty is a very, very dangerous step backwards, too far back to be in any way credible, or in any way permissable under any sorta progressive society.

  • http://opinionated.blogsome.com/ jamal

    You make valid points against the death penalty. Any re-introduction is a dangerous step due to the grea areas. However, from what Ive seen in the middle east, it can work. I think that sometimes to move forwards we have to adapt, which can mean borrowing from the past.

  • RedTard

    I’m not sure of the repercussions of having or not having capital punishment. I certainly think it should only be administered in cases where physical evidence is overwhelming and there is essentially no question of guilt.

    It may not be the popular view but I believe there are certain crimes that a human can commit that would forfeit their right to coexist on this planet. I have watched the confessions of serial child rape/murderers. I have seen them describe the hours and days of rape and torture ending in the death of the victim. After watching this I not only support death for the individual but would be more than happy to hand out the punishment myself.

    I don’t have some strong desire to see most of these people die, but I can understand and agree with the logic behind it.

  • Pat

    I am 59 and when I was in my teens supported the death penalty. Muder made front page news probably we heard of one or two A YEAR back then in the uk.The public was shocked and the murder was talked about for weeks /months.
    Later I changed my mind about the death penalty and was anti hanging for no other reason than I thought I had grown up and have remained that way for some time , however I now feel very strongly about this and I think the UK should reintroduce the death penalty or life SHOULD MEAN LIFE WITH NO REPRIEVE.Our punishment system is a joke
    We hear and see at least one murder reported every single day sometimes more. There were 4 on the news last night! No one cares any more we just say OH NO ANOTHER MURDER ISN’T THAT AWFUL AND GET ON WITH OUR LIVES.
    These horrendous people have taken away inncoent lives, children from parents, parents from children and so on. They come out of jail anything from 8 yrs on that is not right.
    I also believe we should see the reintroductuion of national service (bad lads army proves that point) and national service was cmplulsory in the days of the death penalty could the two be connected? The lack of Discline and the bad behaviour in general could perhaps have a lot to do with the increase in crime and murders.

    I would like to see the figures relating to murders in the uk between 1943- 1973 when we had the death penalty and for the same period when capital punishment was abolished 1974-2004 but not including terrosim or wars for either period.I bet everyone would get a shock!

  • paulbaj

    I agree that capital punishment should be reintroduced in the U.K.
    Everyone knows that society is too lenient on the killers of children and the elderly,after their sentence many of these animals are allowed to slip back into society only to be housed next to some more potential victims.
    Trust in society has gone.
    Tougher sentencing would deter the perpetrators of these crimes without a doubt because they are committed by cowards protected by the feeble do-gooders and p.c. brigade.
    The time has come to get tough and execute anyone convicted of the murder of the young and elderly.

  • Steve

    Well, the death penalty might dissuade some people from pre-meditated crimes, but as far as I know, most crimes happen in the spur of the moment, i.e. when a person is not thinking rationally, so I doubt the death penalty would be much of a deterrence (it doesn’t seem to be in the US anyway).
    Although I suppose it does have a certain logic vis a vis justice as far as murder goes. However, I would be uncomfortable using it against any except repeat offenders, in case some are wrongfully convicted.

    I think it is probably more important for the entertainment media to show positive, non-violent ways of solving problems, instead of showing the use of guns as the best way. Alas, I guess that doesn’t sell as many movie tickets or get as high Neilsen ratings. Oh well, I guess entertainment is more important to alot of people than peace on the streets.

    I think the UK’s increase in crime is due to the acceptance of disrespecting people more than anything.
    They used to have wonderful comedies in the past, but now, a few I have seen from the last few years have been quite pitiful, where the characters seem to spend most of their time putting folks down. I understand there can be laughs in dysfunctional families, but it would be nice if they would try to solve their problems once in a while, rather than wallow in them. The audience might even learn something from it.

  • Ian Martin

    The death penalty is a great idea in theory. So long it only applies to ‘other people’. Of course, neither you nor anyone in your family or in your circle of friends would ever find themselves accused of murder or worse. Only deserving strangers would be executed by the state, so it’s all good.

    Yeah, right!!!

  • BringbackdeathpenaltyUK

    The UK law system is back to front, criminals get more support than its victims. Murderers are able to basically get away with murder, life should mean life not 15 years, or earlier if youve been a good boy or girl, this is a total waste of taxpayers money. I think if the evidnce is overwhelming against a criminal then they should be executed, not left to live a life of luxury in prison, why does it take so long to get a change

  • Punish the evil

    Vote for capital punishment, there are too many sick people who murder and walk away, or enter prison, and live a better life than they did before, just to be realeased with new names, new house and a new life when they don’t deserve this.

    Mr Martin, if a member of my family commits murder, i would be happy to see them suffer the consequences, they would deserve thier fate for taking someones life. The fact they are your family is a moot point and frought with bias, although you have a good poin none the less.

    Its sickening and saddening to turn on the television to hear of the latest murder or rape/murder. My fiancee is away from home, and i worry for her every night, and i fear there isnt much to stop someone from raping and killing her for sport in the UK. The only thing i know that i could do would be to kill them myself, which would see my life in prison, miscarriage of justice and all!

    I beleive any form of premeditation should require pentaly of death. The money saved froma life imprisonment (if only it were life) could be used to fund a much more efficient effective trial for the accused to ensure guilt, and to make sure the guilty part meets the correct punishment.

    National service is an excellent idea, and may help to remove this ASBO culture too.

  • TheDoc

    The death penalty, as many of you have mentioned is (obviously) an extreame measure, but is it not true that many of the crimes that these animals commit are extreame also? I do support the death penalty, however it should only be used in cases where there is no question of guilt.

    Im more supportive of other measures, such as the decriminilization of hand guns for defence, or greater still the reintroduction of national service I personnally feel that these steps would be more positive then the reintroduction of the death penalty.

    Reintroducing the death penalty would be a radical step and not one to be taken lightly. Needless to say if there was a public vote tomorrow on this issue I would be voteing yes.

  • F

    I have been involved with recording crime scenes for the past 17 years including, amongst many others, those involving babies and children who have been abused, tortured, raped and in some cases murdered.

    I started out thinking that I was doing something positive and fighting crime in my own way. I try to think of the person and their family (unless the family are proved to be the perpetrators)and to do the best job I can for them – and that keeps me going.
    An earlier post said that “emotional weight has to be discarded” when discussing the death penalty.

    WHY?

    We are human beings, social animals with all that entails including emotions. The legal system, working without emotion, totally using reason can deduce whether someone is guilty or not. That is fair and just.

    But you can either lock them up hidden away from society to meet other criminals, complete their OU degrees and live at your expense or rid society of them permanently. They serve no purpose in society, are a danger, their lives won’t be enhanced or improved by incarceration. This is a reasoned opinion – nothing to do with emotion.

    Amnesty International says the death penalty is “cruel, inhuman and degrading”.

    So if it is inhuman to kill the perpetrators of these kind of acts are inhuman and therefore don’t have the same rights as other members of society.

    The OED defines inhuman as “lacking positive human qualities; cruel and barbaric. not human in nature or character”.

    So the horror of these crimes, the damage it does to family and community, the fear it perpetuates, the unimaginable misery that their innocent and defenseless victims were forced to endure and the fact that their behaviour is not human seems to be a very poor third behind politics and the human rights of the criminal. We already have it on good authority (Amnesty) that murders aren’t human so why have they got human rights?

    So this is the reasoned argument for the death penalty.

    The emotive one? Think of documenting up a little lifeless body, starved, burnt and bruised, recording their surrounds, no light, locked away, tethered to something to limit their movements but probably too weak to move anyhow. Born into the world for a short agonizing miserable life. Are Amnesty fighting for these victims lives? They are forgotten people, they hold no political importance for US based Amnesty and their lives have no value or meaning.

    I carry on doing my job because it may help catch the perpetrator, prevent further crimes and is a way of showing some form of respect to victims who may have had little or no human kindness or respect in their lives.

  • Ben

    Yes, complete legalization of handguns for private ownership is needed. The dunblane shootings, if you do your research was the plot of freemasons. Not the lower blue lodge degree’s but by officials in the higher degree’s.

    This was a plot to dissarm the british public. We need to get our guns back!

  • chris turtner

    maybe we should just hang the do gooders? after all its 40yrs of libralism that has brought us to the sad state we are in now .but on a realistic note yes i agree with the death penalty it wont take many to shake up the casual gun users in gangs it wont be big to carry a gun swinging from a rope will it? just a thought.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Personally i’m in favour of executing all those who want to bring back the death penalty, especially when their reasoning is as defective as that of Chris Turtner above, who seems to think introducing the death penalty in the UK will have a deterrent effect even though it doesn’t in the US. D’oh!

  • Mo

    All i can say is whoever thinks major criminals that murder, rape etc do not deserve to be sentanced to death are idiots. You take someones life you pay with yours. You do something disgusting like rape a baby or rape women, you wont stop at 1 you will carry on and to prevent you from doing this you will be sentanced to death. Not all criminals will stop commiting crime if the death sentanced was to be bought back but at least the ones that have will not have another chance to. Simple.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Indeed you are simple, Mo. Personally I think people who write poorly thought out comments full of bad spelling ought to be executed, but it is all a question of where to draw the line. At least my way we don’t have to worry about the legal system making mistakes….

  • Nancy

    I’d like to know what is wrong with vengence, either as a society or as individuals? Vengence is a perfectly natural, normal reaction to a crime against innocent others, and if nothing else, certainly gives the victims or their families & friends a sense of justice to which they are well entitled – especially when the government & the law are too spineless & tepid to adequately punish or deter the monsters who perpetrate it. If the government refuses to protect innocent citizens, then maybe it’s time for vigilante justice? It could certainly be justified. Further, I deny that life – or specifically, the lives of such human vermin as commit violent crimes – is sacred. It’s not, any more than the lives of rats or roaches, and furthermore has been proven to be so by the actions of the very individuals themselves: you commit a violent crime, you remove yourself from the ranks of humanity, together with any and all inherent rights & privileges.

    IMO violent criminals ought to be used for medical & commercial (cosmetic) experimentation instead of animals. At least they’d be paying back a modicum of their debt to society, & their miserable existences would be to a degree justified. Otherwise they’re just eating, sleeping, excreting piles of humanoid crap.

  • troll

    I’m with Nancy –

    Privatize Justice

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Guys, they tried that in the USA back in the days of the Wild West. It didn’t work out too well then and it sure ain’t gonna work any better nowadays.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I find myself to be in agreement with the author of this piece. Jamal speaks here as a professional, as well as a resident of the UK, and makes compelling arguments.

    It is not enough to denounce capital punishment as “barbarism” as one poster has done. Murder, rape and other crimes of violence are all barbarism. Even corporal punishment, which is generally barbaric, and often over-used and abused, does have its place in society. Witness the stink that went up over a tourist being sentenced to five strokes of the cane in Malaysia an number of years back. Those five strokes of pain will live forever in the memory of the recipient. Whatever else he does, it is not likely he’ll repeat the crime he committed there.

    If a person murders someone in the society he lives in, the murderer needs to understand with a certainty that he himself will die. So, the issue here is the issue of certainty. Justice must be sure – but it also must be swift, less the populace forget the point of the death. A life is a terrible thing to waste…

    The proper pursuit of justice most assuredly has its place in a country that alleges it believes in a Book that says, “tzédek tzédek, tirdóf” – justice, justice, shall you pursue.

    But having said this, I agree with Dave Nalle as well; the average Brit must have the right to bear arms in plain sight. An armed society is a polite society.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Well, I’m not surprised to see Ruvy lined up here with his quaint “eye for an eye” approach to life.

    I would be inclined towards the armed society response if people were actually capable of acting according to reason rather than emotion but alas it ain’t so.

    Mob rule, vigilanteism and the like are precisely why a more legalistic approach to justice are required. It just isn’t within the capacity of most people to behave reasonably in the passionate heat of the moment.

    Glib remarks like “an armed society is a polite society” make great soundbites but just don’t work out that way in the real world, where real people not automatons are making the decisions.

    You only have to look at many of the comments made on this very site for evidence of that. None of you three manage to stay at all times within the very loose standards of behaviour required here, never mind exhibiting the wisdom necessary to wield a more permanent type of justice.

    The ONLY result of this kind of approach would be the increased frequency that you would see “strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees”.

  • Nancy

    I don’t support allowing the general population to bear the sort of arms some would allow, such as machine guns; there’s absolutely NO reason for any private person to have something like that, or a shoulder-rocket launcher, for example. But I do support bearing arms in general, AS LONG AS the guns in question are legally sold & bought, registered, & the users are thoroughly trained in safety measures. Unfortunately, the last criteria I’d use can’t be enforced, namely that the gun user not be a blithering idiot & fool who keeps loaded guns around the house accessible to kids, etc. Alas, you can’t mandate intelligence & common sense.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, i looked up “Strange Fruit” in Wikipedia after posting the above and read the following:-

    “Strange Fruit” began as a poem about the lynching of two black men written by a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx, Abel Meeropol, who used the pen name Lewis Allan (the names of his two children, who died in infancy). Meeropol and his wife were also the adoptive parents of the children of the executed spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg in the 1950s.

    “Strange Fruit” was written as a poem expressing his horror at the lynchings, and was first published in 1937 in The New York Teacher, a union magazine.

    Though Meeropol/Allan often asked others (notably Earl Robinson) to set his poems to music he set Strange Fruit to music himself and the song gained a certain success as a protest song in and around New York.

    Before Holiday was introduced to the song, it had been performed by Meeropol, by his wife, and by black vocalist Laura Duncan, who performed it at Madison Square Garden.

    Meeropol said later that he had been inspired by seeing Lawrence Beitler’s photograph of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana.

    “Strange Fruit” was eventually heard by Barney Josephson, the founder of Cafe Society, New York’s first integrated nightclub, who introduced it to Billie Holiday. Holiday performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939, a move that by her own admission left her fearful of retaliation.

    Holiday later said that the imagery in “Strange Fruit” reminded her of her father’s death, and that this played a role in her persistence in performing it.

    Meeropol is my kind of Jew.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Billie Holiday’s version of “Strange Fruit” is pretty definitive but there have been many other great recordings of it, by many diverse artists. One of many great takes is this one by Nina Simone.

  • Catey

    Someone who believes that a person who has murdered many innocent young women needs to be executed, (I’m thinking Ted Bundy), is NOT, I repeat NOT the same mentality as the persons who carried out lynchings.

  • Nancy

    I maintain there are many times when society AS Society is obligated to obliterate these semi-human predators. Not just murderers but rapists & child molesters as well. Again, if you don’t want to kill them outright, then let them perform a much-needed public service in atonement for their crimes by serving as human guinea pigs in lab experimentation, either for drugs or surgical procedures, or even cosmetics. As for the notion of vengence – I see nothing wrong with it. That the families of victims or the victims themselves would want vengence is normal & should be allowed; it’s the least the criminals owe their victims, & if it brings a measure of satisfaction to the victims or their families or society, then so be it. There is nothing barbaric or ‘bad’ about wanting to to get a little of your own back from someone who has wronged you, especially when it’s a deep & serious wrong.

    I agree with Ruvy, however, in that justice needs to be not only certain, but swift – which these days it certainly is not, especially with the long – sometimes decades – delays allowed and/or encouraged by the almost endless appellate process, most of it complete bullshit designed more for the benefit of lawyers & their criminal clients than society at large.

    As for vigilantism not being effective, I beg to differ. In those parts of the Wild West where it flourished & was enforced (a short period of time, granted) it had a very salutary & sobering effect on the wilder & more lawless elements, especially when it was graphically demonstrated to them that justice, primitive as it may have been, was going to be as quick as it was inevitable. Many a bad guy lit out for easier pastures after an exemplary lynching/firing squad or two, leaving the remaining population in peace & lawful quiet.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Yeah, okay, let’s start by killing everybody who feels bloodlust. Up against the wall, Nancy, you’re a threat to humanity! It would make me feel safer to know that people with such violent tendencies were no longer around…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Christopher,

    Whenever you have a justice system crippled by a refusal to protect society, you get exactly what you fear and wave in front of my face – the justice of the mob expressed in lynchings and hangings. Whenever a system of law enforcement becomes so corrupt that the bobby cannot be relied upon to do his job, you get vigilante justice. Apparently, the UK has degenerated into such a society. That is the picture Jamal draws for us of the society around him.

    If British society refuses to enforce laws against murder, rape, robbery and the like, vigilante justice will emerge in the UK; Judge Lynch will indeed swish his robes of death and “strange fruit” will hang from the heaths and groves of England.

    I would only note for the casual reader that the murder rate in New York City or even Minneapolis is probably higher than that of the UK. But if this changes, and the UK becomes a murder capital of Europe, we can expect Englishmen to seek to protect their own rights to a peaceful society. England is the home of the Bill of Rights of 1689, upon which much of civil law in America and much of the world is based (the other basis is the Bible).

    Chris, even sheep(le) rise up against abuse after a time…

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Whenever a commenter runs out of answers related to the real world, they resort to whenevers, ifs and hypotheticals!

    Jamal is being hysterical and, if you form your picture of the world solely based on media reports, you’re going to have a very wacky view of the world. Based upon what I hear on the news the only things that matter to Americans are the “war” in Iraq and the price of shares.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Based upon what I hear on the news the only things that matter to Americans are the “war” in Iraq and the price of shares.

    Perhaps that’s why I don’t see any State Department “travel advisories” for Britain – sociopath-infested hellhole that it is, if folks like Jamal and Mark Manning are to be believed…

  • troll

    that’s because the US State Dept is a branch of Her Majesty’s Secret Service – d’uh

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Shh! That’s a secret!! ;-)

  • troll

    Chris – you sound pretty satisfied with governments’ control over ‘justice’

    but here in the US the demographics of the (massive) prison population is disenchanting…it almost looks like a war on the poor rather than an attempt to control the most vile behaviors

    as for vigilantism – I reject any argument based on ‘necessity’ required by some unchanging human nature

    things might work out for the best in the coming anarchy

  • troll

    demographics…are

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t understand where you got that impression from, troll.

    I do think the massive US prison population is a sign of a country gone law happy, which is bitterly ironic in the so-called land of the free. The US is a country which actually has far more government control and laws than the so-called more socialist countries of Europe. It just goes to show the power of a slogan, as most Americans really do seem to believe they are more free!

  • bliffle

    Ruvy says: “If a person murders someone in the society he lives in, the murderer needs to understand with a certainty that he himself will die.”

    Hey, that’s great news for suicides! If you’re too cowardly to kill yourself just kill someone else, the state will take care of the rest!

  • Effy

    Not everyone in a gang is murderous, some are nice.

  • qwertyy

    I am of the firm belief that when you piss all over someone else’s human rights, you foreit your own.

    People talk shit about ‘oh but if you kill it means you’re just as bad as the murderer’ NO IT DOESN’T. The termination of a criminal is in no way similar to the rape/murder of an innocent victim. the former is only the result of the criminal committing the latter.

    PLUS, the money saved (£43k per year) from having the death penalty reinstated could be used to save about 6 cancer sufferers, whose £7k one-off treatment is considered ‘too expensive’ for the NHS.

    1 criminal or 6 cancer sufferers? hmm decisions decisions ‘ay?

  • g

    I am sick to the back teeth of hearing stuff like that I provided a link to above!!!!

    “They also kicked him about the body, pushed sticks up his nose and urinated on him.”

    “Finally the two defendants jointly pushed him into the river, where Toby never regained consciousness and drowned.”

    “But they were convicted of manslaughter and were jailed at Nottingham Crown Court. Quantrill must serve five years in a youth detention centre or jail and Orm three-and-a-half years.”

    What the hell is up with our justice system! why is it that they get three and a half to five years in jail when they subjected a man to an ordial like that and then ended his life!

    When they come out in a mere three years, the 25 year old they killed will still be dead! The family of that 25 year old will still be greeving from the loss, but those murderers will still be freed!

    I still dont belive in state administered death, but for crying out loud – what on earth do they think they are doing releasing people like that into our community so soon! Anyone with that mentality is dangerous until they are so old they cant walk anymore, and even then, should be supervised! This makes me very angry, and it should other people too. people should be shouting very loudly about all these killer that are being let out, there’s loads of them!

  • G

    I dont think arming the nation is right eithr! In fact its mad. Imagine loads of mexican stand offs between gangs of kids in the street! And the rules of engagment will change, but the victims wont be any better to protect themselves – remember, the killer has the edge, because he has the killer mentality, the victim doesnt know the killer is the attacker until he pulls his gun and attacks the victim, and thats bound to be when the victims back in turned isnt it? so even when the victim is armed to the teeth, the victim wolud have to have a suit like off pretator, with invisability, and a shoulder cannon that fires where ever you look and locks onto ememies quicker than they can pull a weapon. In practice, in such a society, it wolud be like walking through iraq shrotly after the occupation, you wolud have to have your gun drawn all the time and face everyone you came across in case they fired at you. Instead the police need to get a handle on whoever is supplying these weapons and they need to lock them up for MOST OF THEIR LIVES, words that the goverment doest seem to be able to understand the meaning off! They seem to thnik that humans have the life span of dogs and cats – since 15 years to them constitues life! They need to do a lot more stop searches and generally make life really tough for anyone carrying a gun or a knife around!

  • G

    THE BEST method I can think of would be brain monitoring. science fiction – it is not:

    “Developments in brainwave measurement have led to several new applications based on the monitoring of brainwaves. One such application, which the inventor says can evaluate whether or not a particular person has a memory of a particular event, is called brain fingerprinting.”

    It might sound like something from clock work orange, but we are now at the point where we are beginning to be able to read brain activity! If someone is shown a film/pic of a certain situation or person, we should soon be able to see if there is unsavoury brain reaction that is sufficient to direct the person under test to commit a crime – Ha, and there would be no way for them to hide either, as they might be able to lie, but their brain reaction is what they perceived at that point!

    we would have to take care not to sign away our liberty by allowing the unlimited use of the device by the state and business, but when it comes to serious violent crime and terrorism, how brilliant it will be to uncover these people for all to see, it will mean the boot is on the other foot for a change!

    The question will be – how to deal with someone who we know has criminal tendancies, yet has yet to comit a crime?

  • STM

    Which is all very well Jamal, but as you and I know, there won’t be a return to the death penalty in Britain.

    They moved on from that a long time ago, and it won’t be coming back. Apart from the fact it’s barbaric (and 40 years in jail isn’t a bad alternative for scum), as has been shown in the US, it doesn’t make any difference to the crime rate.

    The murder rate in the US, which has a death penalty, is multiple times that of Britain.

    There’s an end to your argument already.

  • STM

    And Dave,

    Fantastic idea re: the legalisation of handguns in the UK.

    Especially coming from a person living ina country where the proliferation of guns gives it by far the highest rate of gun homicide in the developed world.

    Typical errant nonsense from supporters of gun laws that involve virtually no laws … people are getting shot, so let’s make MORE guns available, not less.

    An armed society is a polite society? Yeah, right, look at the US. Lol. That’s a joke, right?

    Preach to the Poms when their rate of gun homicide reaches that of the US. Until then, the best you could do would be to keep your gob shut on something like this.

    As you once said to me, “killing a tapeworm by feeding it to death” just doesn’t work, whether that means taxes OR guns.

  • STM

    DD: “Perhaps that’s why I don’t see any State Department “travel advisories” for Britain – sociopath-infested hellhole that it is, if folks like Jamal and Mark Manning are to be believed…”

    I reckon Manning’s views have been coloured by a belting in a London pub after one-too-many beers and a tad too much gob opening (’cause you just know Mark is great at keeping his views about Britain and Britons to himself).

    As I keep promising Mark, though, I can organise a whip around for him at the Punch and Judy and the boys and girls there have assutred me they’ll raise enough money to get him a one-way ticket back to Boston.

    He reminds of that great song, “Stuck in the UK”. Every time I hear the words (“Detroit, New York and LA, but I’m stuck in the UK”) I thjink instantly of Mark, the reluctant trans-Atlantic transplant.

    Well, it doesn’t have to be that way Mark old boy! We can get you home mate!

    And Jamal, shame on you … shame.

  • STM

    Nancy, on guns: “Unfortunately, the last criteria I’d use can’t be enforced, namely that the gun user not be a blithering idiot & fool who keeps loaded guns around the house accessible to kids, etc. Alas, you can’t mandate intelligence & common sense.”

    That’d be the reason they have tough gun laws in the UK.

    It’s worth noting here Nancy that the UK has a much lower rate of gun homicide than the US (in single figures compared to the US, which is the highest, in double figures, of any developed country).

    Now why do you think that is? Oh, I know, it’s because anyone can go out and buy a gun, no one keeps track of the things, and too many of them end up in the hands iof criminals.

    Also, most handgun deaths in the US occur in the home, and the victims are usually related to the shooter.

    That’s all a cogent and coherent argument for arming the populace, eh?

    On the police: I do think EVERY copper in the UK should be armed, however. Some are, but for those who aren’t, it’s often too late by the time armed response teams arrive or the guns are coming out of the box in the boot of the police car.

  • Clavos

    “The murder rate in the US, which has a death penalty, is multiple times that of Britain.”

    With all due respect, mate, but I’ve seen you argue vehemently on other threads that our murder rate is due to our widespread private gun ownership.

    The death penalty is rarely argued as a deterrent these days, anyway.

    But it does ensure that one shithead won’t ever murder again, doesn’t it?

    And, of course, revenge is sweet…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The death penalty is a sensible way to save taxpayer money.

    Dave

  • STM

    Clav: I’ve just argued that above. What I’m saying is that it also isn’t any deterrent.

    But yes, you know my view on guns … and I do believe the proliferation of guns in the US is the reason for its high crime rate compared to other developed countries (Dave tried to tell me once that Colombia fitted into that category, which of course has a higher rate than the US).

    And Dave, in states where there is a death penalty in the US, most people spend the equivalent of what, 15 to 20 years behind bars before they get the chop?

    In most countries, that’s a life sentence. So how exactly does that save taxpayers’ money?

    I know they send ‘em off a bit quicker in Texas, but elsewhere it seems a bit different.

  • STM

    Yes, revenge is sweet. But what if that revenge involves one innocent person getting chopped along with all the guilty?

    Even just one is too many, and is a good enough reason on its own to argue against the death penalty.

  • Clavos

    “What I’m saying is that it also isn’t any deterrent.”

    I agree, Stan. I said so above; nobody even argues (me included) that it IS a deterrent anymore.

    EXCEPT for the yob you execute; he won’t be murdering anyone else anymore, as so many do here after they’re released on bail, or even on probation after years in the joint.

    Kill ‘em and that won’t happen.

    Barbaric? Some see it that way, yes, but I say it’s far less so than the crime of murder.

    The punishment fits the crime.

  • Clavos

    “Yes, revenge is sweet. But what if that revenge involves one innocent person getting chopped along with all the guilty?

    Even just one is too many, and is a good enough reason on its own to argue against the death penalty.”

    That was once a pretty good argument, Stan; one that even began to convince me.

    But, as DNA evidence plays a larger role in all of criminology, the likelihood of an innocent defendant becomes slimmer, and will soon disappear altogether.

  • bliffle

    Doesn’t anyone, especially the righteous religionistas on BC, think that it’s wrong to facilitate the vengeance impulse of victims and their families?

    What would Jesus do?

  • Clavos

    Just for the record, I am not a “righteous religionista” (whatever that neologism means).

    No, I don’t think it’s wrong to exact vengeance when deserved; In fact, I think it’s a good principle of justice to make the punishment fit the crime.

    I have no idea what jesus would do.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    But, as DNA evidence plays a larger role in all of criminology, the likelihood of an innocent defendant becomes slimmer, and will soon disappear altogether.

    Clav, when fingerprint evidence came into use about a hundred years ago, it seemed so foolproof that much the same forecasts were being made.

    These days, people tend to talk about DNA as if it’s the be-all and end-all of criminology. Fact is, there often isn’t any DNA evidence, and you know as well as I do the number of cases (homicide and otherwise) that come to court with the prosecution relying heavily or entirely on circumstantial evidence (the Laci Peterson case, for instance).

  • STM

    There’s also a great danger, as a former detective mate of mine points out, that some investigators are now relying almost solely on DNA evidence when the real key to all this investigating properly and tieing up every loose end in a brief.

    A combination of all things, then, not just the reliance on one new piece of modern technology that can be flawed and depends on so many other things.

    DNA is useless, for instance, where there is evidence let’s say that a person has been in continuous contact with another person at the scene of a crime prior to it being committed.

    Since most killings involve someone close to the victim, there’s a problem there right at the start. Relying on any scientific evidence solely as the basis of making a case is really dangerous and doesn’t fit with many notions of our justice system(s).

    To rely on it is just as flawed as ignoring it.

  • Clavos

    Well, then, mates, I accept the probability that innocent men are going to be sent to the gallows from time to time.

    Even if I’m one of them some day.

  • bliffle

    The DP is not even cheaper than life imprisonment. I read an analysis of this a few years ago and the high cost of DP appeals and years on Death Row are much bigger than Life Imprisonment.

    The police are simply unreliable. They get rewarded with promotions and raises based on their “collars” and convictions. So they have a vested interest in catching and prosecuting the obvious suspect, not in finding the real criminal. So The System has to leave room for subsequent exoneration.

    Encouraging vengeance is bound to lead to crime cycles, like the Hatfields and the McCoys, the Jews and The Muslims, the Crips and the Bloods, etc. Innocent bystanders will always be harmed.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Perhaps we should listen to the people who actually have to do it…

    Albert Pierrepoint, the last Chief Executioner of Britain, became an opponent of the death penalty, arguing that it existed out of a base desire for revenge and didn’t benefit society in any way. His epiphany, according to his autobiography, was the time he ended up having to hang a mate of his who’d killed his girlfriend in a jealous rage.

    He knew that his friend, and indeed most of his ‘clients’, hadn’t acted with premeditation and therefore the death penalty was no kind of deterrent.

  • Clavos

    I think no one any longer considers it to be a deterrent.

    But then, neither is imprisonment.

    People bent on criminal acts rarely stop to consider the consequences.

  • http://e-okulnotlar.blogspot.com e-okul

    e-okul
    hi,
    Jamal is being hysterical and, if you form your picture of the world solely based on media reports, you’re going to have a very wacky view of the world. Based upon what I hear on the news the only things that matter to Americans are the “war” in Iraq and the price of shares.

  • Clavos

    “Based upon what I hear on the news the only things that matter to Americans are the “war” in Iraq and the price of shares.”

    Also, when, where and with whom we’re next gonna get laid…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    According to a recent poll the War actually ranks about 4th in importance, down with immigration reform. The economy, national security and jobs rank at the top.

    Dave

  • http://thevoiceofsanity.blogspot.com/ A Voice of Sanity

    “Fact is, there often isn’t any DNA evidence, and you know as well as I do the number of cases (homicide and otherwise) that come to court with the prosecution relying heavily or entirely on circumstantial evidence (the Laci Peterson case, for instance)”.

    In this case there was no evidence for the guilt of Peterson. No evidence, direct or circumstantial. He was convicted solely on public outrage whipped up by the media to sell more rubbish.

    All of the actual evidence went to his innocence.

  • STM

    Clav: “Also, when, where and with whom we’re next gonna get laid…”

    What about the REALLY important stuff: the price of beer/smokes, rising petrol prices and the risk of higher mortgage interest rates.

    You can win an election down under on that stuff.

  • maja

    dear pepole of the workd,we are all humain we live and die naturaly.
    but to be killed by a nothman was it worth it NO.A person whatever reason it may be they are not to kill.
    there is no revange not by justice.no human being should decide abaut a nother life.BUT when sombodys life has been taken and brutally murder WE as a nation of this part of the world in the UK should decide that there will be nobody anymore who will comme aut of gale to kill again.WHAT JUSTICE HAVE WE GOT,NONE.
    THE COURT OF ENGLAN OF UNITED KINGDOM GIVES THE RIGHT TO KILL THEIR OWN PEPOLE BY GIVING THE KILLERS THE WRIGHT TO LIVE.and to do it and kill again.DEATH PENALTY SHOULD BE ON JUSTICE OF THIER OWN WILL OF THE FAMELY.

  • James

    The UK NEEDS the death penalty.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, James, I realise ‘Maja’ can’t spell, can’t think straight, can’t construct a sentence intelligible to any mortal man and apparently abides by a moral code which died out in the fourteenth century, but surely your recommendation is a little extreme…

  • STM

    No James, the UK DOESN’T need the death penalty.

  • STM

    What’s a Nothman BTW Doc?

    Does he mean a Norseman by any chance??

    How will that impact the sensibilities of our resident Mexican viking, whose ancestors’ boat took a wrong turn at iceland and ended up in Guadalajara??

    Or even me, when the boat from Northumbria washed up on the Great Southern Land (that has no peer)??

    Those Nothmen … they can’t be trusted y’know.

    Always been troublemakers, and always will be.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I think the Nothmen come from an obscure and unexplored corner of the Workd.

    And if the Great Southern Land has no peer, what do you Aussies do for amusement arcades and funfairs?

  • STM

    The Nothmen cometh …

    From an unexthplored and obthcure part of the worlk?

    And we don’t need no amusement parks and fun fairs down here Doc, you know that.

    It’s just one long knees-up (that’s a party, for you Americans) anyway.

    See Doc, that’s where you blokes made the big mistake.

    You sent all the party people to the BEST place, while all you lot stayed on that miserable piece of rock in the North Sea (not for nothing is it shaped like a witch taking a dump).

    You thought you were punishing us, and now you’re all falling over yourselves to get in here.

    The wheel turns full circle.

    However, none of you will ever be forgiven for stealing the corner of our flag and using it as your own.

    A pack of opportunistic bastards if ever there were one …

  • BuStEr

    I THINK THAT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS SO FUCKED UP THEY SHOULD BRING THE DEATH PENALTY BACK BECAUSE MURDERERS, RAPISTS, PEODAPHILES ETC. SHOULD ALL BE HUNG FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE, NOT A SELECTED NUMBER OF YEARS IN PRISON, THEN TO BE RELEASED TO CONTINUE COMMITTING FURTHER CRIMES

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    You seem very anxious to hang people, Buster.

    Tell me – exactly how far down the food chain do you want to go with this? Should we hang someone who murders with premeditation, or in a fit of temper? Someone who rapes, or who commits a sexual assault? Someone who molests a child, or who solicits one online?

    Who gets to decide in your Utopian bloodbath?

  • Buster

    If ur from the uk have u read the bristol evening post today a man got 4 years for murder and he’s only going to do 2 out of that.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m from the UK originally, but live in America now. I just surfed to the Bristol Evening Post‘s website and read the story.

    The report doesn’t clarify, but I can tell you here and now that if the guy only got four years, then he was convicted of manslaughter, not murder. A murder conviction results in a mandatory life sentence.

    Mitigating circumstances in this case appear to be that the killer has apparently shown genuine remorse, and that the victim appears to have contributed to his own demise having returned to the fracas rather than simply walking away from trouble, which he had the opportunity to do.

    I agree with you, however, that four years (presumably, since the killing happened in 2006, he’s already served two of those on remand) is a highly inappropriate sentence for a homicide under those circumstances.

    The death penalty for manslaughter is just as inappropriate, though. Whether the killer, or the victim, or both were chavs (it sounds as though they were) is irrelevant.

  • Andy

    Kill the murderess and rapists etc and free-up prison space for the other scum that deserve to be in cells for years, house burglars etc, every crime committed in the UK, the guilty don’t get enough punishment.

  • Faheem

    I’d say bring back the death penalty but only for open/shut cases. Like this austrian bloke who done that to his daughter. If there is even a 1% chance that the perpertrator is not guilty then prison for him/her.

    I actually prefer corporal punishment especially for those fuckers who attack firemen/policemen/paramedics when they are responding to a call. What manner of moron attacks people whose only thought is to save them?

    I am against the death penalty in most instances but the option should be there – not as a deterrent but as a swift punishment which rids the world of a murderer, rapist, paedophile (especially the latter).

    100% guilty people should be executed WITHOUT appeal.

    Vigilante Justice sounds appealing but cannot be applied fairly? Who decides what case is worthy of death (murder fair enough, rape, fair enough, honour killings? HELL NO) different cultures have different thoughts on what constitutes as a legal retribution.

    Barbaric? Yes

    Necessary? Sadly Yes

    I have no problem with people against the death penalty, in fact I envy you for your capacity for mercy. But it is something I can never accept until there is a time when a year can go by, without murder, without rape, without paedophilia, all these things.

    Unfortunately I don’t see it happening

  • RedSkyAtNight

    I say do it. Bring back hanging or, even better, firing squad. That way, people would think twice about coldblooded murder or becoming a paedophile, don’t you think? And in our age of genetic profiling (people have been arrested in America on the basis of DNA found on a roach from a cannabis joint) it is far more unlikely that innocent people will die as a result of bringing back the death penalty (as a Marxist and Feminist, I hesitate to use the term ‘capital punishment’ for obvious reasons).

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Red, capital (sorry!) punishment simply doesn’t work as a deterrent. If you know anything about child molesters and paedophiles, you’ll be aware that this is especially true in their case. Statistically, ALL paedophiles were themselves molested as children. They simply can’t help themselves.

  • wildnfree

    Dave, here in the US most death penalty cases cost more than life sentences because of the sheer amount of legal fees that are run up in multiple appeals, stay requests, etc.
    I agree that the UK needs to restore the right of self-defense. While I no longer believe in the death penalty, I do believe in having the right to defend ones life, family, and livelihood with any tool necessary.
    A person whom has been convicted and sentenced to death might be innocent, but a criminal who killed by his intended victim is 100% guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.

    STM,
    You speak of the large number of guns in the US as being responsible for our murder rate but you need to be aware that the highest murder rates here are in the places where guns are banned, Washington DC for example.
    I do agree with you about the DNA evidence not being as reliable as claimed. Plus there have been some cases here, of outright fraudulent reports from some “crime” labs. Due to the corruption of the courts it is still possible for an innocent man to be convicted. Life without parole? Yes. Death penalty? Only if it occurs during the commission of a crime.
    Self defense is not vengeance. But the threat of it is a far greater deterrent to crime than ANY penalties imposed by the legal system.

    Of course if all of our countries would give up the ridiculous war on drugs…we might have some room to put the real criminals in prison.

  • DRP

    I THINK THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE UK IS SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT,HOW CAN A FEW YEARS IN A CUSHY JAIL CELL BE PUNISHMENT FOR THE MURDER OF A POLICEMAN / WOMAN,THE RAPE AND MURDER OF A BABY,OR THE ROBBING AND MURDER OF A WORLD WAR 2 WAR HERO PENSIONER,REGARDLESS OF ALL OTHER ARGUEMENTS,ONCE YOU KILL A MURDERER BY CAPITAL PUNISHMENT,HE OR SHE CAN NO LONGER KILL ANYONE ELSE!WITH DNA ADVANCES TODAY IN 2008,EVIDENCE IS FINAL AND 100% CORRECT.

  • satanssixthson

    3 — January 15, 2006 @ 13:08PM — Dave Nalle [URL]

    “Before the UK even considers the death penalty a far more effective measure would be the complete legalization of handguns for private ownership and the decriminalization of their use for the defense of self and property. As demonstrated again and again that would be a far more effective deterrent than the death penalty”

    An armed society is a polite society.

    Dave

    erm, no its not! an armed society is called America! highest gun crime rates in the world.
    also the reason we got rid of handguns is cos a school load of toddlers got shot up by some sicko with a load of handguns!

    Bring back death penalty!

  • bill , glasgow

    I beleive the U.K. should return capital and corporal punishment A.S.A.P. The pendelum has been swung too far in the one direction for to long by the pious “goody two shoes” in consectutive governments completely ignoring the needs and wishes of their electorate.I for one don’t want my taxes going towards keeping some murderous waste of space in a prison cell with all the home comforts that go along with their paltry sentence.If any U.K.Government in power had the backbone to pose the question of the death penalty to the people in this country in a referendum I know what the answer would be.Hang them high.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Yes, I think we should allow the death penalty for people called Bill from Glasgow. They are clearly a menace to society and should be executed, yes, even before they have done anything wrong. Kill Bill!

  • bill , glasgow

    yes folks, do you lie awake in bed each night worrying about brutal murders,rape,random beatings,aggravated burgulary,serial killers etc.?? put all this behind you and download the christopher rose “urban survival skills” some lucky readers may qualify for a free pair of the famous “rose tinted spectacles” come on christopher all kidding aside lets hear your views on the subject or better still your solutions. bill, glasgow. p.s. please don’t say all prison cells should be fitted with flat screen h.d,ready tv’s as standard.(only joking christopher)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Bill, if you lie awake worrying about those things, you’re either paranoid or you need to move. Do you live in The Gorbals?

    I don’t have any glib solutions for the tangled web of crime you are worried about but I just can not support the idea of state sanctioned killing.

    Furthermore, if you look at countries that do kill criminals, there is no reduction in the crime rates, so the solution you support doesn’t even work.

  • bill , glasgow

    hello again chris,i can see you’re really up to date on modern day glasgow.i take it you’ve read the book “no mean city” which by the way is about seventy years old.no i don’t come from the gorbals and i’m in no way paranoid but what i would say to you every city has areas with bad reputations and also there are lots of good people living in bad areas without the means as you say “to move out” I meant to ask you before what’s your view on corporal punishment would that be too harsh on the poor criminal?

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Bill, no, I’ve not read that book but I know of The Gorbals from friends and family who came from there.

    I’m no stranger to challenged urban neighbourhoods having lived in Finsbury Park and then Brixton.

    And, yes, I am opposed to corporal punishment too.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m no stranger to challenged urban neighbourhoods having lived in … Brixton.

    So that’s how the riots started!

    ;-)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Doc, the first Brixton riot was actually quite influential in my choice of where to move to from Finsbury Park. I figured anywhere with that much vitality was going to be a fun place to live – and it was!

    Living right in the centre, I was directly involved in the subsequent riots, but those are other stories for another day. I actually lived in Brixton longer than anywhere else in my life. So far…

  • bill , glasgow

    christopher,i have just returned from abroad after working as a prison officer in a maximum security prison so you could say that was a bit more challenging than brixton or findsbury park or even gorbals.to put you in the picture our perimeter fences were patrolled by armed guards 24/7 who were taught to shoot to kill. this will probably sound severe to you but if you’re on a one to one with some of these lowlives they would not hesitate to kill you or seriously damage your good health.what i am saying you can’t keep building prisons.we need some form of deterent.you seem to be against any form of punishment at all.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    There’s a whole bunch of cause and effect tied up in current penal policy, on both sides of the Atlantic.

    I’m obviously not against punishment, Bill, so let’s cut out the posturing shall we…

  • pablo

    The biggest and most dangerous criminals are in high office.

  • Slim

    Call it revenge, crime, or whatever is your sophisticated soft touch interpretation of it.
    The simple fact is life = life.
    The people who go to the extent of taking life of others should be eliminated from society and not allowed to take other lives.
    I agree that the crime should 100% proved with all the DNA evidence and not a shadow of doubt, in such a case why not cleaning society from the scum bags, so that decent and genuine people could live a normal life with no fear of being killed for no reason. Capital punishment is a protection for society against scum bags.
    My own brother was stabbed to death by a scum bag, who never worked, completely depended on the state money, was a drug addict and alcoholic, illiterate , swears as many times as he breaths, a waste of his father’s juices.
    By eliminating a waste of earth space like this, aren’t we doing society a favour?
    Imagine life without scum bags, yobs, gangs, rapists,…ect.
    It is good life is it ?

  • Peter

    I think capital punishment and physical punishment should be available to the justice system, but in both cases there must be 100% certainty of guilt.

    Someone mentioned that the US has the highest rate of gun homicides. Okay, but out of all those homicides how many aggressors were actually killed by their victims? I would see that as a positive consequence of allowing people to have guns.

    To those who think that tough punishment has no deterrent effect, please take a look at Singapore’s murder and crime statistics.
    That city has fewer policemen than the large US cities and still it has a much lower murder rate (similar to Japan).

    But I don’t think tough punishment should be given for the sake of deterrent, just for the sake of justice. Deterrence is just a bonus side effect.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I think capital punishment and physical punishment should be available to the justice system, but in both cases there must be 100% certainty of guilt.

    Unless the murderer blew his victim away in full view of 50 witnesses while wearing a T-shirt with his name, address and national insurance number written on it in big bold letters and videotaped himself doing it, you are never going to be 100% certain that he’s guilty. That’s why the criminal justice system asks only for a case to be proven “beyond reasonable doubt”.

    Someone mentioned that the US has the highest rate of gun homicides. Okay, but out of all those homicides how many aggressors were actually killed by their victims? I would see that as a positive consequence of allowing people to have guns.

    In 2005, according to Department of Justice figures, there were 16,692 homicides in the US. Of those, only 535 were justifiable homicides (which would include self-defence) – and the majority of those were by police officers. The actual number of justifiable killings by civilians was under 200 – a bit more than 1% of all homicides.

  • Peter

    “you are never going to be 100% certain that he’s guilty”

    That’s your opinion. In many cases, I believe that 100% certainty is what we have. The fact that the guilty party denies wrongdoing does not change anything. Some criminals are stupid enough to record themselves and post the video on Internet. Others get caught on CCTV. Yet others leave fingerprint evidence or DNA evidence. Yet others are caught red-handed or with a sufficient number of witnesses.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Peter, such scenarios certainly prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt, as per legal requirements, but they do not prove 100% that the accused is guilty. For instance:

    Some criminals are stupid enough to record themselves and post the video on Internet.

    Videos can be faked.

    Others get caught on CCTV.

    When was the last time you saw CCTV footage which showed a human face with absolute clarity?

    Yet others leave fingerprint evidence or DNA evidence.

    Both prove only that a person was at the scene of the crime, not necessarily that they committed it.

    Yet others are caught red-handed or with a sufficient number of witnesses.

    Eyewitnesses are a notoriously unreliable source of evidence. Ask any judge.

    I’m not arguing this just to be bloodyminded. As I said, criminal law requires guilt to be proven only beyond reasonable doubt, which your examples certainly do. In most cases this is fine, because if evidence later comes to light which exonerates the accused, an appeals process and recompense is available. This is not the case with capital punishment – which is why, in my view, guilt beyond reasonable doubt is not a suitable standard for the application of the death penalty.

  • Peter

    I didn’t say that any of these elements, taken in isolation, is a definite proof of guilt in itself. But I think detectives can sometimes establish guilt with complete certainty because each time a crime is committed the culprit leaves behind dozens of incriminating elements that together just can’t be faked.

    Also it’s easy to imagine the police catching red-handed a teenager who started a school shooting. Or a terrorist in Mumbai. In these cases you will agree that eyewitnesses (especially police officers) are sufficient. You’d probably also agree that DNA evidence found on a woman is sufficient evidence for a rape.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Peter, you’re confusing overwhelming likelihood with absolute certainty.

    Suppose one of the Mumbai terrorists decided he’d had enough, thrust his gun into the hands of a hostage and made his escape; and that the hostage, realizing that the police, in the confusion of a smoke-filled hotel lobby, now thought he was a terrorist and were firing at him, felt compelled to shoot back in self-defence?

    Implausible? Extremely. But not impossible.

    I’m just trying to make the point that the death penalty is irreversible, and for that reason the overwhelming likelihood that X is the murderer of Y just doesn’t cut it.

  • Cindy D

    jamal,

    Apparently you don’t need a death penalty in the UK any more that we need one in the US…

    Press Release

    What happened?

    • Under the disguise of Operation Clean Sweep, a public policy of police containment against the black community, Ricky Bishop a 25-year-old African Man and father of one, who was a bodybuilder, Coach and volunteer fitness trainer, was arrested on 22 November 2001 by Brixton Police. He was a passenger in his
    white friend’s car, (his friend was never arrested or searched

    • Ricky was stopped and searched at Dalyell Road (Brixton) with all items in his pockets placed on the top of the car; at this point the Police produced no evidence of any drugs

    How he died?

    • CCTV evidence show Ricky arriving handcuffed at the station, he was taken up several flights of stairs into a small room, (in which we have no visual footage).

    • Four hours later he was dead, still handcuffed on the floor in the A & E Department at King College Hospital, whilst being watched by murderous police officers, who were joking about a scar on his stomach, with a doctor on duty. At that time he was given no medical attention whatsoever!

    A journalist reports on the above.

    This reminds me of this man’s injuries in the US:

    3 NYC officers to surrender in subway sodomy case

    Officers Richard Kern, Alex Cruz and Andrew Morales were indicted last week by a grand jury investigating allegations by a tattoo parlor worker that police sodomized him with a piece of police equipment during an arrest, according to a law enforcement official.

  • Cindy D

    We don’t need more police protection from those who would harm us jamal. What we need is, generally, protection from the police.

    I can litter a post (or ten) with examples.

  • Peter

    Dr Dreadful…

    Suppose a hostage-taker is surrounded by the police. He becomes nervous and kills his hostage, in full view of 10 police officers. Then he surrenders himself.

    Or suppose that one of the Mumbai terrorists throws a hand grenade at a group of British tourists (killing all of them), in full view of 10 police officers. Then immediately afterwards he surrenders himself.

    Implausible? Yes. But not impossible. What do you then do with the guy?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Assuming he actually gets as far as surrendering and isn’t immediately taken out by police marksmen, you try him according to the laws of the land.

    There still remains the possibility that he’s mentally unstable or that there is a conspiracy among the police officers to frame him. It’s still not 100%.

  • Peter

    No, I think the probability of a conspiracy would be precisely 0%. If there was a conspiracy or framing attempt, there would be evidence of it and there would be a motive. And I don’t see how it matters whether the person is mentally unstable or not.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Yes, but that evidence might not emerge until later. And if the person was acting while the balance of his mind was disturbed, then a murder charge might not be justified at all.

    As I said, I’m not raising all these objections just to be silly or difficult. My point is that while you can approach 100% certainty in a criminal investigation, you can never quite get there no matter how cut-and-dried it may seem.

    Unfortunately, the person convicted of capital murder and executed is 100% dead, which doesn’t do him much good if it later emerges that he didn’t commit the crime after all.

  • Peter

    Yes, I know your point of view and I don’t agree.

    Meanwhile, victims are also 100% dead while we keep their aggressors alive, possibly to strike again.

    It wouldn’t be such a big deal if the government was willing to pay for prison construction, allowing judges to give long sentences.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    “An armed society is a polite society.”

    Can you name for me even ONE modern country that has unregulated firearm control that is safe and free? Even one?

    Just name one wherein firearms are less regulated than in America. (note: Switzerland’s gun control laws are stricter than America’s).

    Now for the converse – what countries in this world have LESS strict gun control laws than America?

    I’m looking forward to your answers.

  • emma

    yes bring it back people are soft in this country.

  • Cindy D

    Good idea! I know, let’s apply the death penalty to everyone. We can wipe out crime altogether. why don’t you inspire us and volunteer first emma?

  • STM

    This whole thing is moot anyway.

    The UK won’t be bringing back the death penalty.

    It did away with it a long time ago for good reason … because it makes the state no better than the killer, and it can’t be undone, as some recent DNA discoveries in the US have shown.

    One classic case in the UK is a case in point: that of Timothy Evans, 24, who was hanged in 1950 at Pentonville Prison for the murder of his wife and infant daughter. He told the police he came home from work and found them dead. They didn’t believe him, he was charged, found guilty by a jury who had been fed a diet of opinion on the case by the tabloids, and sentenced to death.

    Even as he was being led to the gallows, Evans is said to have continued to protest his innocence, blaming a neighbour as the likely killer, a man named John Reginald Christie who lived in a downstairs flat at the building in 10 Rillington Place in the London suburb of Notting Hill Gate. Christie had been in the building at the likely time of the killings, while Evans had been at work.

    In 1953, a woman who had moved into Christie’s old apartment pulled away a section of papered over cupboard – and discovered the bodies of three women murdered by Christie while he was living at 10 Rillington Place. A fourth body was found under the floorboards of another room, and the remains of two more were unearthed in the backyard.

    Christie later admitted to killing Mrs Evans, but denied killing the baby.

    Subsequent inquiries came to a number of conclusions, one being that Evans had killed both, another that he’d killed his wife but not the baby.

    In 1966, he was granted a POSTHUMOUS pardon, but it’s unlikely the real truth will ever be known as Christie went to his death on the same gallows 3 years later.

    There were a couple of other dodgy cases, including the Derek Bentley case, in which a police officer was shot during a botched robbery Bentley was commiting with a friend, Chris Craig.

    The popular story: The police officer, Sid Miles, asked for the gun, and Bentley is alleged to have replied: “Let him have it, Chris”, whereupon Craig, who was under 18 at the time and only served 10 years’ jail, shot PC Miles in the head.

    The defence argued that Bentley’s intention was to have Craig hand over the gun.

    The prosecution argued that he intended the statement as an instruction for Craig to shoot PC Miles. Both the accused denied such a statement was ever made, as did a police officer who was a witness at the time and who later died of cancer.

    Bentley never fired a shot, and although he had a knife and knuckle-duster in his pocket, never attempted to produce them. He was found guilty by a jury and hanged in 1953.

    After a number of judicial inquiries, Bentley was later granted a POSTHUMOUS Royal pardon in respect of the death sentence (not all killings, depending on circumstances, were then punishable by death in England), but was not exonerated of the murder.

    That trial, Evans’ execution and the hanging of Ruth Ellis at Holloway Gaol in 1955 all remain controversial judgments in British law where the death penalty was imposed, and served in part as the reason why Britain carried out its last executions in 1964.

    There’s a similar timeline in Australia, with the last hanging (of prison escapee Ronald Ryan) in 1967, also on dodgy evidence that might not have ssen him even convicted had the trial been held today.

    The press has also been suspected to have had a major role to play in the decisions of jurors, who are invariably exposed to bits and pieces of gossip and innuendo prior to any arrest and trial (I’m sure there’s a lot of that still happening in the US, perhaps more so now with the internet and extensive TV coverage).

    True freedom of the press is paramount in our societies, but the boundaries have at times been stretched and trial in the court of public opinion is no way to conduct a murder trial where a person faces the death sentence.

    So, no, the British won’t restore the death penalty any time soon.

    They realised four decades ago it was fraught.

    Good on them.

    I’m no bleeding heart, either. Life’s not long enough in some cases for some killers, but at least when a person is serving life and they’ve been the victim of a miscarriage of justice (yes, they do happen, and often), there’s at least a chance they’ll be freed on evidence that either comes to light later or was known but wasn’t presented in the first place.

    They will have lost a few years they’ll never get back, but at least they’re not six-foot under when they’re pardoned.

  • STM

    Further to that, Bentley’s conviction for murder was eventually set aside once and for all in 1998. A long time after he was hanged, though …

    Part of the problem in this case was that to establish murder as an accessory in a “joint enterprise”, the prosecution had to establish beyond reasonable doubt that he knew Craig was armed. Such instructions were not given to the jury by the judge, Lord Goddard.

    You might think arguing points of law detracts from the argument, but such issues are vital in arguing against the reintroduction of the death penalty.

    In short, sometimes the accused (who generally knows nothing of the law by which he/she is being tried) gets railroaded.

    Surely our justice systems in the English-speaking countries are actually designed to prevent that?

  • Cindy D

    That was an excellent post Stan.

    The Innocence Project:
    226 EXONERATED

    Some states are still not allowing inmates access to DNA evidence that was not available at their trial. Which is how some people wind up being discovered to be innocent.

    20 innocent people were freed this year alone.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    “In short, sometimes the accused (who generally knows nothing of the law by which he/she is being tried) gets railroaded.

    Surely our justice systems in the English-speaking countries are actually designed to prevent that? ”

    Except in the USA of course, Stan, which is very much alone in the Western world in still allowing state sanctioned murder.

    From Wikipedia:- “Since World War II there has been a consistent trend towards abolishing the death penalty. In 1977, 16 countries were abolitionist. As of November 6, 2008, 93 countries had abolished capital punishment altogether, 9 had done so for all offences except under special circumstances, and 35 others had not used it for at least 10 years or under a moratorium- while 60 countries actively retained the death penalty.

    At least 3,000 people (and probably considerably more) were sentenced to death during 2007, and at the end of the year around 25,000 were on death row around the world, with Pakistan and the USA accounting for about half this figure between them. China carries out by far the greatest number of actual executions – while Amnesty International has confirmed at least 470 executions there during 2007 the true figure has been estimated at up to 6,000. Outside China, at least 800 people were put to death in 23 countries during 2007, with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq and the USA being the main contributors. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen executed people for crimes committed when they were juveniles, in contravention of international law.

    Executions are known to have been carried out in the following countries in 2007: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Botswana, China, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Libya, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, USA, Vietnam, Yemen.”

    Great company the USA is keeping, huh?

  • Cindy D

    Christopher,

    Except in the USA of course, Stan, which is very much alone in the Western world in still allowing state sanctioned murder.

    Thought crimes are being prosecuted as terrorism now. 10% of our population is in prison even though violent crime has not been increasing for years.

    Terrorizing Dissent

    The “RNC 8″ were originally charged with conspiracy to riot in the 2nd degree in furtherance of terrorism, a felony which is the first ever use of Minnesota’s PATRIOT Act.

    In December 2008, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner (who is also running for Governor of Minnesota as a Democrat) added three more felony charges: 2nd degree conspiracy to riot (without the terrorism enhancement), 1st degree conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property in furtherance of terrorism, and 1st degree conspiracy to commit criminal damage to property (without the terrorism enhancement). Combined, we believe the charges would carry a maximum of 12.5 years in prison.

    Anarchist looked like someone’s mom.

    Their meetings were infiltrated by a 50 year old under-cover deputy sheriff. They were arrested as terrorists before they took any action.

  • Cindy D

    BTW,

    These groups were to be mild upsets at Republican conventions engaging in civil disobedience limited to property.

    I had no idea one could “terrorize” property.

    “They have denied involvement in terrorist activities, and several said they have never advocated violence against people.”

  • Cindy D

    Oh, I forgot to say Terrorizing dissent is a film. That link above has some clips the whole thing can be seen on the terrorizingdissent.org website.

    But I had some faint hope of getting Christopher to visit the Anarchist site, which is what I linked to.

  • bliffle

    STM asks:

    “Surely our justice systems in the English-speaking countries are actually designed to prevent that? ”

    Well, actually they are not “justice” systems, but, rather, Conviction Systems. All the incentives applied to the participants, the Policemen who investigate and arrest, as well as the Prosecutors who present evidence and press charges, all those incentives are to get SOMEBODY convicted, and to keep them convicted. There is almost NO regard for “justice”, or, at best, mere conviction is a proxy for justice.

    That’s why prosecutors, when faced with overwhelming evidence of an innocent mans actual innocence, like DNA evidence and confessions, etc., will STILL insist that the conviction hold!

    In a Conviction System where it is “the usual suspects”, i.e., the close family and friends, the husband of the murdered woman, the parents of the dead child, who quickly become the ONLY subjects of investigation, there can be no justice.

    Add to that the normal propensity of rulers to use the laws to suppress dissent by willfully confusing all odd behaviour with political sabotage and pretty soon you have a system which we have seen far too many times in this old world.

    There can be no Justice where the primary goal is to Convict.

  • Brunelleschi

    The UK can handle itself without lowering itself to capital punishment.

    Handing out mass quantities of guns like Dave N suggests is a classic example of American stupidity.

  • STM

    We recently had a case here where an Indian doctor, Mohamed Haneef, was locked up on suspicion of having involvement in the London/Glasgow terror bomb attempts.

    As it turned out, he didn’t, and the federal police finally admitted they never had any real evidence in the first place. However, he ultimately lost his job at Gold Coast hospital and had his work visa cancelled and went home to India.

    No one has forgotten here though about how he was treated, and why.

    The courts played an active and much lauded role in defying and embarassing the authorities, who wanted to hold him without charge for the maximum period allowed under anti-terror legislation and kept applying for extensions, and the press took up the case and kept asking tough questions and hounding the government about its actions in regard to the jailing.

    It was nice to see everyone standing up to the Government. I have no doubt this a healthy democracy in that respect.

    So in some cases, where the courts act in a humane fashion and with conscience and not just according to the letter of the law, and the press takes up the cudgels on behalf of sensible public opinion, they can do a lot of good.

    Unfortunately, as Cindy, Rosey, Bliff and Brun point out, the opposite’s often true too.

    Had Haneef’s case happened 50 years ago, I have no doubt some trumped up charge of a heinous crime would have been found and delivered to the courts as “evidence”. I fear that in the America of George W.Bush they might have dealt with someone like Haneef very harshly too.

  • Cindy D

    I love Capitalism. I will give anyone three guesses what the fastest growing industry in the U.S. is at the moment. No cheating.

  • Cindy D

    bliffle,

    That was excellent, thank you. I think I will keep that post.

    bliffle I never heard you speak about your political leanings. But, there is a good letter I posted for Mark in the Who Would Jesus Lay Off? (Part II) thread.

  • Cindy D

    Glenn,

    What about Canada?

  • Cindy D

    Stan,

    …the press took up the case and kept asking tough questions and hounding the government about its actions in regard to the jailing.

    Do they regularly actually do things like that or do they mostly take what’s on a wire and regurgitate it like here?

    healthy democracy

    no such thing. there is better and worse. not healthy.

  • STM

    Yeah, Cindy, they really do. They really push hard at governments here, both state and federal.

    The current state government in New South Wales, where I live, is getting an absolute hammering at every turn. They will be obliterated in the next state election, which isn’t until 2011.

    The press brought the former federal government of conservative Prime Minister John Howard undone when he did away with 100 years of industrial relations legislation that had seen this country offer the fairest and best wages and working conditions of any western nation.

    He handed all the power back to the employers, urging: “Trust them … give them a go”. They gave the new laws the Orwellian title of WorkChoices, which came to be lampooned as NoChoices.

    Well, we did give it a go, it was crap, people lost their jobs, wages and entitlements as Howard turned on middle Australia – the people who’d elected him in the first place. Howard last year became only the second sitting PM in our history to lose his own seat in parliament during an election as his party got belted at the polls.

    We know a pea-and-thimble con trick here when we see one. You can’t con a nation of cons. It must be our convict gene :)

    I love working in the business in this country at the moment because I really feel that we make a difference, despite all the official obstacles they have put in our way in the past … like the little loopholes in the Freedom of Information Act that stop you from getting any information if they don’t want you to have it; going after whistleblowers; and on a couple of occasions, including one recent episode in Western Australia, sending the cops to raid newsrooms looking for info about who leaked what to whom.

    What a disgrace that was. The journalists were putting the story up on the paper’s website and running pictures of the raid while the cops were there searching reporters’ desks.

    Not much different to what happens in the US from time to time, though, really. I believe the media elected Obama, or more to the point, ensured the demise of Bush and his cronies.

    Just keep on embarassing them (the government) is the key to all this. They can’t hide from the truth or cover it up forever, and if they do try, sooner or later they come unstuck.

  • STM

    PS, I love it when Americans get out on the streets in their thousands holding up placards and calling for change, or justice, or for the return of freedoms taken away or never really given … like they did recently for Obama, or during the Vietnam War, and the civil rights era.

    That’s the America of the Revolution … the spirit is still alive. Everyone’s gotta love that, even if you think the end result doesn’t mean much.

  • Cindy D

    You can’t con a nation of cons. It must be our convict gene :)

    :-)
    That is sorta funny. A nation of convicts being more honest than a nation of pilgrims to “freedom”.

    You guys mustn’t have gotten all the details right on the free market. Maybe you just aren’t as astute as Americans.

    Obama is better than the (shiver) other choice. I don’t really think about Obama these days.

    I think I agree with you, American people want freedom. I just came from a horrible website though chock full of idjits, so I’m not feeling generous.

  • Cindy D

    You guys are no fun to play with. No one can even make three guesses what the fastest growing industry in the U.S. is?

    I have been trying to avoid working. I will take my secret and go back to work for now.

  • STM

    Cindy: The big difference … the one real difference IMO between us, and it’s probably to do with the people who founded the two nations … is that when people become rich and famous in America, they get fawned over, hero-worshipped (even if all they’ve done is act badly in crap movies), and lauded.

    Down here, the opposite is true … and people get brought back to earth if they get too far up themselves.

    The tall poppy syndome really happens here … no one cares if people get rich, or do really well, as long as they don’t behave like they’re better than everyone else.

    The worst thing that can happen to you in Australia, no matter how much money or fame or power you have, is for the rest of this country to think of you as a prize dickhead.

    I think that the notion of equality is alive here, it just takes a very different route.

    And we are well-known for our healthy dislike of authority figures. Wonder why that is??

  • emma

    yes bring back the hanging back now

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The hanging back? Is that an obsolete rugby position?

  • georgia

    we’re doing a debate on this topic at school. when doing some research, i came accross information about a method called hypoxia. would this be helpful?

  • grimreaper

    Yes the death penalty should be brought back now!!! The peoples vote, NOT M.P.’s. Why should we the tax payer pay to keep to keep scum in prison for a few years to come out and carry on their life. Or maybe they basically get off by pleading insanity and go into a metal hospital. As long as there is 100% proof that the person is the murderer, then that person has no right to live the rest of their life. Lately we are being bombarded on the news that toddlers are murdered by boyfriends/partners of mothers. The toddlers are subjected to multiple severe injuries. All the muderer gets is a few years at our expense and when they come out of prison (or if they are lucky, which in most cases, metal hospital), we pay for them to sit at home. Its now time to make our voice known, by making a presence at all courts where trials are on.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The economy really must be dire if the Grim Reaper himself is having to shill for work.

  • Cindy
  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Bill Door
  • Death for the criminals

    KILL ALL THE MOTHERFUCKERS NOW!!!!!

  • Cindy

    Don’t worry Death. Everyone is headed there anyway. Sooner than most people apparently think.

    Seeing as how they are eager to give up the lives of others.

    So, should we give George Bush the death penalty for torturing children?

  • Cindy

    Whatever. It’s all the same dog and pony show.

  • http://www.colaistemuire.ie paddy

    The death penalty is not the answer. How can countries such as the USA discourage people from murdering by killing people themselves? People say that we should have respect for life and the countries who use the death penalty are just as bad as murderers. In fact life imprisonment is much worse of a punishment than the death penalty. Vote NO to the re-introduction of the death penalty!!!

  • Angela

    I agree that we should bring back Capital Punishment. Perhaps you could sign my petition.

  • tania

    Eye for an eye, so the bible spoke, we are not greater than god…. let us follow his commandments. Bring back the death penalty!

  • David

    Kill the animals this would save the state money feeding and clothing and giving this scum care!

  • Parent

    There are those that should loose their human rights, by the very fact they took someone elses rights. I prefer the method of branding their foreheads and letting them back out. The public will decide their fate.

  • sophie

    We should Bring Back The UK Death Penalty, the UK laws does not work for the victims favour 100percent like it should.

    Why do we need to keep criminals alive, I mean the criminals with the real bad criminal records, when they come out they just do crime again as that is all they know.

    Lets clean up the country and hang them, also the police in the UK is not respected that is why there is more crime, police should have more freedom to arrest people or even go in someone house to check for guns randomly so criminals think twice having guns and drugs in doors or in their cars.

  • mac

    tosh!!!

  • James Taylor

    I have laughed at some of the liberal responses to this. As usual, the people who argue against the death penalty are simply not living in the real world. It is all very well to compare capital punishment for the most heinous of crimes with Hitlers Genocide ( I noticed one person say) but I bet the idiot who wrote that never had his daughter raped or his son murdered. What people either believe is that there is evil out there and it must be combatted. Also, I think that bu killing some of these “tortured animals” we will be doing them a favour………….putting them out of their mysery whilst spending the money trying to “understand” them and rehabilitate them on the victims. I am not for Capital Punishment the way it was meted out for anything in the last century……but for the crimes of rape and murder against children, for terroist offences such as the July bombing and for any murders that are for material gain or sexual gratification…….I also believe that the preffered method should be as painless as possible, sleeping pills followed by lethal injection.

    Enough is enough, people like Roy whiting do not deserve to breathe the air or indeed have a penny of my taxpayers money!

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    However, I laugh at the people like James Taylor, who simply want revenge.

  • Ria

    i think that death penalty should be brought back to reduce crimes such as murder and rape/kidnapping.It is not all about reducing crime it’s about our family and how they get affected by someone’s death or their daugther getting raped….. i think they should bring death penalty back to make the criminals think twice before what they do !

  • louise

    i just wrote a heartwarming paragraph of how i would like the death penalty bought back to the UK but i changed page before i posted it and realised ‘my god’, this page has been going since January 2006 ad oh crap i lost my paragraph, and none of this has happened and it hasn’t been bought back. Everyone that I know, wants it. Laws in our country need to change dramatically as the people of our country have no belief…none, we all hope but even that stretches thin. And then, at the end of the day, we don’t have the choice anyway as ‘government’ will do what they want.

  • louise

    We are mostly all united with this thought of bringing back the death penalty. Laws have to change first. At the end of the day it is a thought and it will probably stay that way, as what can any of us do about it.

  • louise

    just read another blog… how do we, the people get thet vote not the government. cos at the end of the day, its all them.

  • Eddie Johnson

    Anyone who supports the rights of the murderer over the victim should be quite happy about murderers and child rapists staying with them after release. I’m sure letting your little girl cuddle up to person who had been convicted of killing a child of similar age will just fill you with joy. But in reality I’m sure if you were made aware that a rapist or murderer was about to be released into your area you would be up in arms about it. Everything is OK as long as you’re not the victim, get real.
    If by brining back the death penalty one person is saved that would have otherwise have been murdered by a released murderer then it is worth brining back.
    My stomach is churning at the level of support murderers receive compared to victims. I would welcome the fantasy of all do-gooders going off to the Middle East to do their bit and losing their heads. That way back at home low life scum could be dealt with properly.

  • Guy McKeeman

    I don’t live in the USA. The DP does not cost more than life in prison. For murder only, where there is no doubt, I want the DP as revenge, punishment and deterent. If the DP is not a deterent, neither is Life in prison, so what do we do? Give them a fine? These people can’t be rehabilitated, they can’t be made to earn their keep. Firing squad. No more reoffending! Yes it is that simple. 60% of Brits. The MAJORITY want this!

  • JOHNNYBOY

    THE MAIN REASON THE DEATH PENALTY IS A NON RUNNER IS BECAUSE WE COULD NOT TRUST OUR POLICE AND LEGAL SYSTEM TO ARREST AND CONVICT ONLY THE GUILTY.

  • Joe

    Do it, bring it back

  • Mc Goblin

    Nancy – You speak sense !! Well done! It’s amazing isn’t , I mean , we have Nukes to protect the country for what? Is this the sort of life we’re protecting? A society where murderers/rapists in the UK just get 2 years in jail , because the Senile judges are in a hurry to get home to have his tea (being driven of course in a Limo). ? People want to go to war over the most peurile of things but essentially ,what the Hell ARE you trying to protect? Normal human beings don’t have rights. Murderers get more rights than anyone else. I have to work for everything in life. I pay taxes. Those vermin and roaches , get free food in prison and get to watch tv all day doing nothing. I say , as Nancy said , make those excrement piles , contribute. Let’s start with using them as live car crash test dummies. LOL. I like the film ‘Running Man’.It has some valid points. “Sub Zero , now Plaaain zeeerooooo!”

  • Tracey

    Go back in time. The death penalty deterred people. I was born in the 60’s. It was BIG news if there was one murder a year where I lived. Now it’s just normal to have numerous everyday occurences. I would like to see the punishment fit the crime.

  • lop

    i think that the death penaty should not be re-introduced

  • Dweenie

    i completely agree with joe and Tracey. if someone thinks it out and plans to take someones live they are fucked up in the mind and statistically would do it again if they had the chance.And paddy, your a fucking idiot, why should a convicted murderer or rapist be allowed to be free? and why should tax payers(probably even the victims families) have to pay to keep these scum alive? so the death penalty is completely justified in most ppls beliefs.

  • Anonymous

    Yes bring back the death penalty. For murderers bring back hanging. For child murderers introduce electric chair.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone think that death by firing squad is best for murderers or hanging?.

  • Al – Collection UK

    The problem lies with the justice system and the state of the prisons imo. In the UK the sentances are too easy on harsh crime and the prisons are too cushy. On one hand the death penalty is great for sick, serious offenders where no ‘on earth’ sentance is good enough but what about people who are wrongly accused only to be found innocent months and in some cases years later. If they were sentanced to death and found innocent further down the line its too late. Also, you might argue that it is an easy way out for offenders and serving life in prison is a more painful sentance knowing their life outside of prison is pretty much over. I agree with the death penalty being brought back for harsh serious offenders in the UK but only if the hard evidence proves 110% that they are guilty. If it wasn’t to be brought back then basic, less cushy prisons would be the answer.

  • james lloyd

    i personally believe that any one who can harm a innocent child should be stabbed in the face if i could id murder every pedophile my self but i don’t fancy a hefty prison sentence. peodo’s, child rapist’s, some one who murdered for evil twisted reasons should all be strung up by their by there slimy little necks how ever i believe the line should be drawn were pure evil is not, example i murdered some sweet old lady in my street for no reason string me up but if i murdered some one because they killed a family member so i murdered in a act of revenge i think you should have 5 years tops. because we cant send a pedophile to pontins because thats what the prison system is getting like some kind of holiday camp no we must end their sad lives and do them a favour!

  • craig burrows

    i think all child murders rapists sex offenders should be hung i mean who are these evil people to decide that they can take a childs life from them not to mention the affects it has on the familys ,..what if it was your child they raped tourtuerd then murderd im sure your oppinion would change this is not to mention the cost to the tax payers to keep these vile peices of scum fed and entatained in the holiday camps they call prison fight fire with fire and make a proper deterant to try and stop these unatuarl evil crimes

  • Amphie

    I think that with every edition of the news someone has been reported either murdered, raped, mugged, or sexually abused and so as an effective deterrent they should reinstate the death penalty as soon as possible and pay no heed to all of the do gooders.

  • noname

    to keep it short. KILLING IS WRONG! IF YOU KILL SOMEONE VIA DEATH PENALTY THEN YOU ARE JUST AS BAD AS THEM!!!

  • tony

    if lethal force is not a deterant, why do people almost always submit to a gun, wether it is wielded by the police or offender?

  • tony

    If killimg is wrong full stop, would you not use such force where death is possible if it were to protect a loved one?
    Every crime should have a punishment which fits, thats not vengeance its appropiate and the noose fits the bill

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Lethal force is a deterrent when it is in the present but not so much when in the future.

    There is a difference between killing and execution by the state.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    There are worse things and greater justice than the death penalty. I can’t find a reference now, but I remember clearly a letter that the Unabomber sent out begging to be put to death because he couldn’t stand being in solitary so long in the Supermax prison where he is.

    True solitary confinement – no access whatsoever to media and broken only by required medical exams and perhaps the very occasional visit by a lawyer – is much more of a punishment…and it has the added benefit of giving hope to the wrongly convicted that they may someday rightfully breathe free air once more.

  • Bendix Bill

    I’m with Nancy, further more the scum that groom young girls for sex & gang rape should, upon conviction, undergo gender re-assignment & be sentenced to 20 years in a male prision to give them a taste of what they inflicted on their victims.
    This lets the punishment fit the crime, as does the death penalty for murderers & terrorists.

  • Reece

    I agree with the death penalty.

    “The crime statistic you’ve linked to is in absolute numbers, it doesn’t compensate for population growth, other take into account other long term influences like economic cycles.”

    It doesn’t matter. There is no excuse for murdering innocent people. Economic problems do not justify the actions of criminals.
    AND, between 1960-1964, rates of unlawful killing ran at an average of 29 per year. Within a year of the death penalty being abolished, that figure had risen to 57. The fact that the figures rise that quickly suggests that the abolition of the death penalty was a main factor in crime increase.

    I don’t believe it is state sponsored murder at all. You say the human rights of criminals would be breached, what about the rights of ordinary law abiding citizens? What about the rights of citizens to have the law enforced? To be safe in their own homes and on their own streets?
    If you kill or rape someone, you have obviously infringed their rights, and as punishment, your rights should be infringed as well. If they don’t want to get the death penalty, they should stick to the rules. Rules are there for a reason and they are there to be enforced. Rules are not there to be broken.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    It’s true, there is no excuse for murdering people, regardless of whether they are innocent or not.

    However, if killing people is wrong, the state killing people is wrong too. Capital punishment isn’t justice, it is vengeance and although understandable, should be resisted.

    Nor can the death penalty make people safer or protect their rights. Rules are there to protect people but if other people didn’t break them we wouldn’t need the rules in the first place.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    AND, between 1960-1964, rates of unlawful killing ran at an average of 29 per year. Within a year of the death penalty being abolished, that figure had risen to 57. The fact that the figures rise that quickly suggests that the abolition of the death penalty was a main factor in crime increase.

    It suggests nothing of the kind. The UK population in the mid-1960s was around 53 million. Whether 29 or 57 out of those teeming millions were murdered in a given year, it’s still statistically insignificant. (Not sure where you’re getting your figures from, BTW, or why you’re counting unlawful killing, which includes manslaughter, but they’re off by a few hundred. Unless you meant per million of population.)

    Your theory doesn’t account for why the murder rate jumped (for example) from 298 in 1946 to 346 in 1947. The death penalty was still in effect at that time.

    Extraordinary events can skew the homicide statistics dramatically from year to year too. For example, the murder rate jumped from 891 in 2001 to 1048 the following year. The reason? 172 victims of serial killer Dr Harold Shipman were counted in the 2002 figure. Without his contribution, the numbers would have actually fallen.

    Similarly, the 2005 stats were skewed by the numbers of people who died in the July 7th bombings in London. The total was still lower than the previous year’s.

    To put it charitably, ascribing a sudden jump in the homicide rate to the abolition of the death penalty is on shaky ground. Certainly the annual number of murders in the UK is far higher than it was in the 1960s (although it’s been falling consistently over the last 10 years or so), but I’m fairly confident that has a lot more to do with cultural and demographic factors than with the non-existence of capital punishment as a deterrent.

  • Igor

    Unavoidably, the DP results in the execution of the innocent, therefore it is wrong. It makes killers of us all.

  • Igor

    The DP makes killers of us all, so Reece’s comment #180 is pertinent:


    There is no excuse for murdering innocent people

    We know that innocent people have been executed (murdered), so to whom do we apply the Death Penalty, the DA? The Jurors? The cops? Or all the above?

    After all, if we believe that the DP is a deterrent to murder, then why should it not be applied to miscarriage of justice that results in death? Won’t that improve the performance of the cops, the DA and the jurors in the pursuit of justice? Knowing that sentencing an innocent man may result in their own execution?

    The punishment fits the crime.

  • bongo714

    If the death penalty is reintroduced where are we left with miscarriage of justice. When the courts get it wrong and someone is wrongfully convicted what do we do then. For instance look at the Bentley Case and the Evans case. Also there is no clear link with the increase in crime and the abolition of the death penalty. Any statistic could just as easily be linked with the rise in price of chocolate bars. Many people are misinformed and have based their opinions on whoever shouts the loudest.

    all i can say is we shouldn’t be to hasty to decide on bringing the death penalty back and should look at the instances where it hasn’t worked out so well. With the criminal justice system in it current state where appeals are far to frequent and justice isn’t always served in the first hearing in court is it wise to use such a unforgiving punishment that can’t be reversed in the case of innocence.

    • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com/ Christopher Rose

      Don’t worry Bongo, this stupidity was written eight years ago and there is no sign of it happening.