The Death Penalty - the will of the people?

Do you support the general principle of the death penalty?

  • Undecided

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
#1
It's amazing how the government goes on about "the will of the people" when it comes to its pet projects, such as the foxhunting ban, but whenever capital punishment comes up & a poll indicates a majority in favour (as they often do), suddenly "the people are misguided", or "the poll was hijacked by right-wing reactionaries / neo-nazis / the BNP / the Tory party / the camping & caravanning club of GB".

So this is an Arrse straw-poll: do you support the death penalty for serious offences, such as pre-meditated murder? Or only mass-murder? Or maybe rape, or rape of a minor?

Apologies if this has been done to death before
 
#2
I voted no. Too many mis-carriages of justice for it to be used.

What should happen is for life to mean life and for miniumum sentences to be increased. Also the cushy life of those in prison should be stopped. Prisoners have better rooms and facilities than most of the lads in the block - that's just not right. :x
 
#3
Death Penalty for murder, terrorism etc
 
#4
Cowhead said:
I voted no. Too many mis-carriages of justice for it to be used.

What should happen is for life to mean life and for miniumum sentences to be increased. Also the cushy life of those in prison should be stopped. Prisoners have better rooms and facilities than most of the lads in the block - that's just not right. :x
I agree that life should mean life - that's what was promised at the time of the abolition.

However, there is a utilitarian argument to counter your first point: Do more or less innocent people die now that the death penalty has been abolished? If you are responsible for the (relatively few) miscarriages of justice, you are equally responsible for what replaces them come abolition. There's a lot of circumstantial evidence to the deterrent effect (for instance look what happened when they changed the rule from everyone involved in a gang murder being done for it to only the actual perpetrator - the organized crime bosses apparenlty used to frisk their guys to make sure nobody was carrying a gun, cos if someone died then they'd all hang).

I think that the standard of proof should be "beyond doubt", not "beyond reasonable doubt" for a death sentance, but I support it in principle.
 
#5
Cold-blooded, state-sanctioned executions are a barbaric idea, and belong in the past. The death penalty is not a deterrent, costs more to administer than incarceration for life, and is a lesser punishment. The will of the people is an irrelevance in some instances, after all, I am sure that "the people" would support an abolition of all forms of taxation. More often than not, the "little" man does not see the "big" picture.
 

Zofo

Old-Salt
#6
I voted No. The DP is not a deterrent - Pierrepoint stated that on his retirement and one has to look at the USA and its overcrowded death rows. Life should mean life - loss of freedom in totality and the knowledge that the only way out of the can is via a hearse.
I think that the only possible way the DP could be legitimised is for mass/serial murder and terrorism but life until death should be the standard.
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#7
Unfortunately the will of the People counts for nothing here. European Law takes precedence over National Law so even if a democratically elected government wanted to restore capital punishment-even if it had been elected on that issue alone - it couldn't do it.

Still think we live in a free country?
 
#8
Sleeper_service said:
The death penalty...., costs more to administer than incarceration for life,
Surely if someone was sentenced to death and the sentence carried out within say a month, that must be cheaper then keeping someone for life ?
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
A life sentence, is a life sentence. Life does actually mean "life". Prisoners given a life sentence may be paroled after a minimum time set by the trial judge. If paroled, the prisoner is released on licence. That licence can be rescinded for any cause at any time and the prisoner recalled to prison.

Given that the majority of life sentences are handed down for murder within the family (eg husbands killing their wives (or vice versa) in a drunken rage), the majority of murderers are not likely to offend a second time whilst paroled.

The other problem is that in high profile cases (normally terrorist ones) the police are often under great pressure to find the perpertrators; they dont always find the right people. Judicial killing "pour encourager les autres", is self defeating.
 
#10
stoatman said:
I agree that life should mean life - that's what was promised at the time of the abolition.
Agreed, but that could be seen as a social contract and it would seem it's no longer fashionable to know Burke, Hobbes & Locke...

For the record I voted YES as I've no 'warm & fluffy' feelings about the worth of the life of murderers, rapists & paedophiles. I'd also be happy with 'life means life' prison sentences with a complete lack of privileges as mentioned by previous posters. I'm all for what could be described as 'wayward youths' being given the opportunity for rehabilitation and a return to education (obviously repeat offenders should be dealt with more seriously for each further offence) but I don't pay my tax pounds for serious criminals to have cushy rooms with TVs & the opportunity to work toward degrees. I'm an evil cow & for the worst cases would advocate solitary confinement with restricted access to anything that makes their life more human.

Step outside of the rules of a civil society by committing anti-social and inhumane acts & as far as I'm concerned you're no longer entitled to be treated civilly yourself. :evil:
 
#11
In my view there should be a death penalty, and to keep the blleding heart liberals happy I'm quite content for it not to actually be carried out unless there is absolutly no doubt that the convicted criminal actually did the deed.

Sound a little strange? Not really. As long as anyone with the death sentence never gets the option of parole, and the 'death row' cells are kept in the cellars in the old 'no window, a bed and a pi22-pot style' of the 18th century, I'd be happy for them to sit in the dark with no contact with the outside world, and the possibility of execution hanging round their neck for the rest of their lives.

As it is at the moment, 'life' means 7-15 years in more comfort and with better supervision than a lot of innocent people in the third world.

And by the way, the only 'will' of the people this government are interested in is the 'will' in 'will' they vote for us again.
 
#12
armourer said:
Sleeper_service said:
The death penalty...., costs more to administer than incarceration for life,
Surely if someone was sentenced to death and the sentence carried out within say a month, that must be cheaper then keeping someone for life ?
It never happens that way. There are always appeals which drag on for years and cost millions in legal fees. It is far cheaper to lock someone up for 50 years.
 
#13
Sleeper_service said:
It is far cheaper to lock someone up for 50 years.
But they don't do they? Even for premeditated murder you can be out in under 15 years. What sort of deterent is that?
 
#14
I vote no its a problem if you get it wrong .Life should mean mimimum of 15
-20 years and proof of rehabilation before being let out otherwise rot in hell
Clean and hygenic jails with . Tv radio etc earned by good behaviour if they have it .it can be taken away if they misbehave .
 
#15
clean hygenic cells
anything else earned by good behaviour
 
#16
Plant-Pilot said:
Sleeper_service said:
It is far cheaper to lock someone up for 50 years.
But they don't do they? Even for premeditated murder you can be out in under 15 years. What sort of deterent is that?
People just arent that logical, if fear of death was any kind of deterrent, we woudnt have 100s of millions of smokers. Whatever the consequences, people are going to kill each other. Clearly, there must be an appropriate punishment, but I find the idea of execution abhorrent. How could we ask someone to carry out the sentence? Just imagine the sort of person who would put themselves forward for the job.
 
#17
No to execution, enough people die at the hands of others without us adding to their numbers.

I do however agree with life being life in prison, in solitary confinement with a television that is permenantly showing the outside world with people having fun. That way they could know what they are missing and will never have again.

That'll learn 'em
 
#18
People have made the assertion that the death penalty is not a deterrent, without even citing some circumstantial evidence.

There are roughly 3 groups of murders:
1: crimes of passion, i.e. murder within the family.
2: Pre-planned, pre-meditated.
3: Murders during the commission of another crime.

I agree that groups 1 and 2 will not be deterred, (1) being committed in a rage, and the perpetrators of (2) will often think that they'll get away with it. However, there is plenty of evidence that it deters the carrying of wpns during the commission of other acts, as I said above, when the crime bosses used to frisk the guys going out on robberies to make sure nobody was carrying guns.

This is interesting:

http://www.richard.clark32.btinternet.co.uk/thoughts.html
Britain.
In Britain, between abolition in, the murder rate more than doubled (to around 750 per annum) and is now around a 1000 a year in 2004. There have been 71 murders committed by people who have been released after serving "life sentences" in the period between 1965 and 1998, according to Home Office statistics.
Statistics were kept for the 5 years that capital punishment was suspended in Britain (1965 - 1969) and these showed a 125% rise in murders that would have attracted a death sentence. Whilst statistically all this is true it does not tell one how society has changed over nearly 40 years. It may well be that the murder rate would be the same today if we had retained and continued to use the death penalty. It impossible to say that only this one factor affects the murder rate. Easier divorce has greatly reduced the number of domestic murders, unavailability of poisons has seen poisoning become almost extinct, whilst tight gun control had begun to reduce the number of shootings (this is wrong, see other threads. stoaty), however drug related gun crime is on the increase and there have been a spate of child murders recently. Stabbings have increased dramatically as have the kicking and beating to death of people who have done something as minor arguing with someone or jostling them in a crowd, i.e. vicious and virtually motiveless killings. As in most Western countries greatly improved medical techniques have saved many victims who would have previously died from their injuries (e.g. Josie Russell).
I'll just repeat a bit of that again:

There have been 71 murders committed by people who have been released after serving "life sentences" in the period between 1965 and 1998, according to Home Office statistics.
That's 71 murders which definitely would not have occurred if either a) life meant life, or b) the death penalty had not been abolished. Compare this number to the number of miscarriages of justice which occurred.

edited to add this last bit which I hadn't really clicked on the implications of when I first posted
 
#19
I'm pro-capital punishment. Not for 'simple' murder but things like mass-murder, murder and rape, pedophiles who murder, that sort of thing.

It never happens that way. There are always appeals which drag on for years and cost millions in legal fees. It is far cheaper to lock someone up for 50 years.
That's not down to the punishment, it's down to the legal system. You're sentenced, you get 1 appeal with a time limit within which it has to be heard then it's curtains...and no waiting for years, i'm talking a matter of days if not hours. No reason for capital punishment to be a cash cow for lawyers.

Far, far too much hand wringing and worrying over 'ethics' and 'rights'. If a dog goes mad and attacks a person you put it down, there's no logical reason not to treat humans in the same kind of manner. I'm not too bothered about it being more or less of a deterrent, i think of it as getting rid of bad rubbish. I also don't see 'insanity' as a way of getting out of it. In fact i see it as the humane thing to do.

As for miscarriages of justice. It's also possible to use a little common sense here too. We are in a better position now in the 21st century to prevent it than we've ever been. The exception being things like 'legal technicalities'.

Whilst we're at it i'm also for something similar to the 3 strikes and out policy as seen in the US. Letting scumbags spend a life gathering sentences is just stupid. If someone won't conform to society without hurting others then they simply don't deserve to be allowed to remain.
 
#20
Seems to me that it's either:

"Better 10 innocent men die, than one guilty go free"

OR

"Better 10 guilty men go free, than one innocent die"

That said, I think the advances in DNA profiling and the amount of proof required for a conviction these days would tend to negate the majority of wrongful convictions. I am on the fence on this one, if life is indeed life (with all the associated provisions already mentioned, ie no more than food and water etc), Then I could live with that, on the other hand IMO certain criminals by their actions have forefited the right to live within a lawful society, if these people will be free, at any time, to re-offend then they have no place in society and must therefore be removed.
 

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