Another reason why the death penalty should be restored

To do that would mean making murder a discretionary offence as regards sentencing and as far as miscarriages of justice are concerned it wouldn't really change much.

There was a case that was an absolute dead cert for a horrific child murder that happened in the 1970s, most of us would have applauded his execution and whilst Capital Punishment had been abolished at the time of his sentencing they might as well have hanged him anyway.
I give you Stefan Kiszko Murder of Lesley Molseed - Wikipedia
A victim of malicious gossip, police malpractice and a duff defence counsel who went on to be an equally duff Home Secretary.
An utter disgrace that should have never got inside a courtroom, not on hindsight but on the evidence which was willfully suppressed by the police and prosecution.
Yes, that's a shocking abuse and a disgrace, but then there's trash like Paul Bernardo Paul Bernardo - Wikipedia who is bang to rights on his actions, with cast-iron evidence against him, including video tape of him raping two of his victims. In a case like his, I am of the opinion that he should have been sentenced to a short drop and a quick stop, if the judge could have had that option open to him. Again, my opinion.
 
Yes, that's a shocking abuse and a disgrace, but then there's trash like Paul Bernardo Paul Bernardo - Wikipedia who is bang to rights on his actions, with cast-iron evidence against him, including video tape of him raping two of his victims. In a case like his, I am of the opinion that he should have been sentenced to a short drop and a quick stop, if the judge could have had that option open to him. Again, my opinion.
I don't think that judges would either welcome or approve of discretion with regard to Capital Cases.
Indeed I feel that given the option most judges would err on the side of caution and just slap on a life sentence with recommendations anyway.
Judges don't like to be proved wrong so I feel that your solution is not only a legal minefield but a non runner.

Incidentally Ian Brady constantly complained that he should have been executed and tried to get a transfer back into prison so he could starve himself to death.
Presumably his life sentence and hospital order were too much for him to bear and he wanted to be out of it.
The law kept him alive and he had to suffer which was totally right and proper in his case.
I am from Saddleworth and remember his shenanignans well so I might be a bit biased.
 
I don't think that judges would either welcome or approve of discretion with regard to Capital Cases.
Indeed I feel that given the option most judges would err on the side of caution and just slap on a life sentence with recommendations anyway.
Judges don't like to be proved wrong so I feel that your solution is not only a legal minefield but a non runner.

Incidentally Ian Brady constantly complained that he should have been executed and tried to get a transfer back into prison so he could starve himself to death.
Presumably his life sentence and hospital order were too much for him to bear and he wanted to be out of it.
The law kept him alive and he had to suffer which was totally right and proper in his case.
I am from Saddleworth and remember his shenanignans well so I might be a bit biased.
Let's just say on both our parts, "I am obliged by your opinion, and retain my own".
 
I see that this old subject has raised its head yet again on this forum, usually it's every couple of years or so but it has been quite a while since the last one.
To my utter astonishment I note that there are still people out there who think that it is acceptable to hang a small amount of people in error as long as the majority of convictions are safe.
Between 1945 and 1964 the authorities executed 4 people in error, they were;

(1) Timothy Evans, HMP Pentonville 1950 Timothy Evans - Wikipedia
(2) George Kelly, HMP Liverpool 1950 Cameo murder - Wikipedia
(3) Mahmood Hussein Mattan, HMP Cardiff 1952 Mahmood Hussein Mattan - Wikipedia
(4) Derek Bentley, HMP Pentonville 1953 Derek Bentley case - Wikipedia

There are two other cases up for consideration that will probably gain pardon for wrongful conviction, they are;

(5) Edward Devlin, HMP Liverpool 1952 Cameo murder - Wikipedia
(6) Alfred Burns, HMP Liverpool 1952 Cameo murder - Wikipedia

There is another one but I doubt he will be exonerated any time soon, he was;

(7) Walter Rowland, HMP Manchester 1947 Murder of Olive Balchin - Wikipedia

So in nineteen years we executed 7 people, 4 of whom have been posthumously found not guilty and another 2 who will be exonerated in the near future plus 1 doubtful.

There is also the question of how many were wrongly offed previous to 1945, Edith Thompson from 1923 is looking a dead cert for pardon and I wonder how many more went to the rope in error.
A fair observation. It is correct but omits a couple of salient points.

Firstly in the period 1945-1964, 197 people were executed in total, which even allowing for all seven to be exonerated puts the failure rate at a bit over 3.5%. Still not acceptable but slightly less headline grabbing.

Secondly the argument that the system fails if one innocent goes to the gallows fails to address the deaths at the hands of convicted murderers out on license, parole or time served.*

I can't see the death penalty ever coming back and quite frankly with the likes of Corbyn and modern trial by media nor would I wish it to. But it gets treated rather emotively like the firing squads of WWI.

*I can't find comparable lists of murders under those terms.
 
On the contrary executing innocent men (and women) to satisfy the bloodlusts of the hang em flog em brigade is the very definition of an uncivilised country.
Until it's the hang em flog em brigade's family then the stakes change

Everyone's the big man until they have to step up to the plate
 
You'd send convicted murderers to a theatre of war?
The Red Army made use of the criminal elements within it's society.
Whether many of these criminals actually survived long enough to earn a reprieve is neither here nor there!
 
A fair observation. It is correct but omits a couple of salient points.

Firstly in the period 1945-1964, 197 people were executed in total, which even allowing for all seven to be exonerated puts the failure rate at a bit over 3.5%. Still not acceptable but slightly less headline grabbing.

Secondly the argument that the system fails if one innocent goes to the gallows fails to address the deaths at the hands of convicted murderers out on license, parole or time served.*

I can't see the death penalty ever coming back and quite frankly with the likes of Corbyn and modern trial by media nor would I wish it to. But it gets treated rather emotively like the firing squads of WWI.

*I can't find comparable lists of murders under those terms.
You say 7 but realistically I say 6. Of course there may be more and this doesn't really cover miscarriages of justice since 1964 when hanging was suspended later to be abolished. The 6 executions I believe that were in error occurred between 1950 and 1953, four years in all and statistically fairly horrific if you just look at the sum total for those years alone.
What it does prove is that to err is human and with the best will in the world humans will act in error especially those who have some control over our lives like the law, the government etc.
When a persons life is at stake accepting human error as 'just one of those things' is totally not on in my opinion.

As an aside let us pretend that Capital Punishment is re-introduced post Brexit (and there is a legal possibility that this might happen but it will probably have to go to referendum).
The first scroat gets the good news off M'Learned Judge and the date is set.
Remember the 2011 riots? Mark Duggan, 100% scroat, criminal and all round nasty bastard gets offed (rightly) and the country's scum went on the riot and rob with relative impunity.
Do you think the same scumbags will just sit back when one of their heroes gets offed by the state?
Or do you think that they will see the same opportunity to go on the rampage fueled by their own vastly distorted views on law and order?
Remember the difficulties the authorities had stopping the riots?
A recipe for disaster IMO and best left alone.

Also remember that when the last executions were carried out the UK was a vastly different place, the underclass never rioted over executions then but I would put serious money on them doing and savouring the opportunity to do so in the present age.
 
The price we pay to live in a civilised society, I'm afraid.
Civilised? You can be murdered at any time by someone who has murdered before? Sounds pretty uncivilized to me that the rights of murderers are valued more than the rights of innocent citizens.
 
Last edited:
Civilised? You can be murdered at any time by someone who has murdered before? Sounds pretty uncivilized to me that the rights of murderers are valued more than the rights of innocent citizens.
So, we are now in the territory of pre-emptive punishment? The UK legal system punishes someone for a crime they have committed, not for what they may do in the future.

it's not very civilized for the victims or their families
Until human beings are born perfect and 100% law-abiding, crime is an inescapable fact of life, I'm afraid. You're right, having a relative murdered must be one of the greatest traumas that a person can endure; I've never been anywhere near that level of grief. However, accepting that crimes do occur, then many questions must be asked & answered about how we deal with that crime; I do not for one moment think that the UK legal system is perfect, it does make mistakes.

However, reducing judicial system costs, administrative ease, and elimination of the possibility of re-offending for me are pretty poor reasons for implementing a system of punishment which - on past performance - may well condemn an innocent person to death.

On the contrary executing innocent men (and women) to satisfy the bloodlusts of the hang em flog em brigade is the very definition of an uncivilised country.
I think we are in agreement. I oppose capital punishment for three principal reasons:

1. I view it as state enacted brutality which belongs in the Dark Ages.
2. The uniquely irreversible nature of killing someone means that I do not trust the UK legal system with that power over their own populace.
3. What it says about you as a nation, if you'll execute someone knowing that their conviction is not 100% secure - because none ever are. The judicial system aims to make convictions as secure as can be, but because it is run by human beings, who by nature are fallible, errors will be made.
 
Last edited:
...For sure, same as some are just waiting for the chance to commit legalized murder - aren't you?
If you mean, am I in favour of capitol punishment? Then no, I'm not
 
So, we are now in the territory of pre-emptive punishment? The UK legal system punishes someone for a crime they have committed, not for what they may do in the future.



Until human beings are born perfect and 100% law-abiding, crime is an inescapable fact of life, I'm afraid. You're right, having a relative murdered must be one of the greatest traumas that a person can endure; I've never been anywhere near that level of grief. However, accepting that crimes do occur, then many questions must be asked & answered about how we deal with that crime; I do not for one moment think that the UK legal system is perfect, it does make mistakes.

However, reducing judicial system costs, administrative ease, and elimination of the possibility of re-offending for me are pretty poor reasons for implementing a which - on past performance - may well condemn an innocent person to death.



I think we are in agreement. I oppose capital punishment for three principal reasons:

1. I view it as state enacted brutality which belongs in the Dark Ages.
2. The uniquely irreversible nature of killing someone means that I do not trust the UK legal system with that power over their own populace.
3. What it says about you as a nation, if you'll execute someone knowing that their conviction is not 100% secure - because none ever are. The judicial system aims to make convictions as secure as can be, but because it is run by human beings, who by nature are fallible, errors will be made.
I think you are confusing the principle of perpetrators receiving state administered justice for crimes committed with the need to deal with the inconsistencies and incompetence of the British Legal System.

The need to cater for the injustices caused by lies, incompetence, and our adversarial system, has resulted in lawyers and liars running rings around justice, judges, juries, prisons and parole. It means that innocent people are murdered by those who should NOT be out in civilised society. It needs root and branch reform from the top. ALL evidence to be produced so that judges and juries can make informed decisions. The purpose of a trial to be to get the truth, not to 'Win or lose', with Justice, not vengeance being the goal. Prisons should be on the Swedish/Norwegian models, with rehabilitation and education the purpose of incarceration, to bring folk back into civilised society. Consider a separate reform to legalise and prescribe drugs, which will wipe out a massive percentage of crimes and raise some much needed taxes.

And the death penalty reinstated for extremes of murder, with judges or the Home Secretary given discretion to
commute to whole of life if appropriate.

Extremes of murder would include cases like Hindley & Brady, Huntley, the man who raped and killed his toddler daughter, the Aunt of Victoria Climbie, etc. etc.

Perhaps also the Scottish verdict of 'not proven' could be introduced. It would certainly have been right in the case of the Birmingham Six.
 
Perhaps also the Scottish verdict of 'not proven' could be introduced. It would certainly have been right in the case of the Birmingham Six.
The not proven verdict only covers cases where the jury doesn't think the PF has proved his case beyond reasonable doubt. It's not a get-out for dodgy or politically-motivated prosecutions and wouldn't help those fitted up. Think of it as a warning to the accused that, "we think ye did it, we canna prove it but we'll keep oor eye on ye."

If the Birmingham Six case had been tried under a 3 verdict system, the accused would behave been found guilty anyway - and sentenced to death if capital punishment were available.
 
'The fruit of my experience has this bitter after-taste: that I do not now believe that any of the hundreds of executions I carried out has in any way acted as a deterrent against future murder. Capital punishment, in my view, achieved nothing except revenge.'

Albert Pierrepoint disagrees and he might know a bit about it.
 
I visited Crumlin Rd jail in Belfast a few weeks ago and was flabbergasted at the short time it took for the assistant executioner to take control of the condemned prisoner until the prisoner swung.

It's gives pause for thought that the prisoner was going to the toilet beside a bookcase, unkown to them that it was infact the doorway seperating him/her from the gallows by a mere 8-10ft.
 
The not proven verdict only covers cases where the jury doesn't think the PF has proved his case beyond reasonable doubt. It's not a get-out for dodgy or politically-motivated prosecutions and wouldn't help those fitted up. Think of it as a warning to the accused that, "we think ye did it, we canna prove it but we'll keep oor eye on ye."

If the Birmingham Six case had been tried under a 3 verdict system, the accused would behave been found guilty anyway - and sentenced to death if capital punishment were available.
You miss my point. They did it but got off because a document that wasn't even needed at the time they were prosecuted was omitted from their prosecution.
Justice was not served for them or their victims or the taxpayer. The legal system needs reform and the death penalty needs to be part of it for extreme cases.
 
I visited Crumlin Rd jail in Belfast a few weeks ago and was flabbergasted at the short time it took for the assistant executioner to take control of the condemned prisoner until the prisoner swung.

It's gives pause for thought that the prisoner was going to the toilet beside a bookcase, unkown to them that it was infact the doorway seperating him/her from the gallows by a mere 8-10ft.
In 1951, it took Albert Pierrepoint 7 seconds from pinioning the prisoner to having him dangling at the end of the rope.
 
You miss my point. They did it but got off because a document that wasn't even needed at the time they were prosecuted was omitted from their prosecution.
If you can just tell who the guilty are anyway, why bother with trials at all? We can just hang whoever fits the bill then deny indefinitely there's any problem - just like the WMSCS did.
 
If you can just tell who the guilty are anyway, why bother with trials at all? We can just hang whoever fits the bill then deny indefinitely there's any problem - just like the WMSCS did.
Tosh and nonsense if you can extrapolate that from what I have been saying.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top