There seems to be a sad tendency, especially with regard to ultimate sanction, (And always has as far as I can see) that the voice to scream loudest carries the argument. Despite numerous UK polls expressing support for the death penalty, the anti death penalty argument has always carried the day.
Now let’s look for example at the incidences of the Death Penalty being applied in the USA. If you believe the more hysterical ‘Anti’ side of the argument, innocent people are convicted and executed every week and the methods of execution are as cruel as they are bizarre.
Okay, now let’s look at the recorded evidence for the USA, culled from two major sources;
Southern Methodist University (Mostly Anti)
Prodeathpenalty.com (Very pro)
Total executions in USA for 2005 so far; 36, with only another 16 scheduled (By the look of the stats only 7 or 8 of these will actually be carried out)
Total executions for 2004; 59
Total executions for 2003; 65
Total executions for 2002; 71
Total executions for 2001; 66
Total executions for 2000; 85
Total executions for 1999; 98
Total executions for 1998; 68
Total executions for 1997; 74
Total executions for 1996; 45
Total executions for 1995; 56
The overwhelming majority of executions in the USA (100% 2005, 95% 2004) are carried out by lethal injection.
Hanging: Last recorded use 1995, Delaware (Once)
Electric Chair: Last recorded use 2004, South Carolina (Once) & once (Virginia) 2003
Gas Chamber: Last recorded use 1999, Arizona (Once)
Estimated total of “Innocent” (Could have got off on a point of law) people believed to have been executed in error since 1900; 23.
An Anti Bush web site ‘Texecutions’ claim that 9 “Innocent” people were executed because Governor George W Bush would not consider final appeals. For the real, Judicially tested information, try this site; Don’t the numbers differ?
The Prodeathpenalty.com site also has a link to a page listing methods by which condemned prisoners dodge the death penalty.
Having read the accounts of the crimes these people have been convicted of I wonder why it takes so long to edit them from the rest of the human race. Evil is often such a mild description of their acts. I’d even consider bringing back Florida’s ‘faulty’ electric chair for what some of these people have done. I know this sounds like blood lust or vengeance, but vengeance against the perpetrator of such horrendous crimes may sometimes be the only answer. At least there is a zero re-offending rate.
The argument that the perpetrator only did it because they were abused as a child, were / are a habitual drug abuser and are a good boy now should not be considered in itself a mitigating factor. Perhaps they were a ‘bad mo’fo’ who has now (Glory hallelujah!) got religion and thinks that is enough to engage public sympathy and thus secure a commutation / reprieve.
Should child killers be forgiven for the murder of their victims? What about those who perpetrate acts like this or this. I say that the death penalty can act as both deterrent and public vengeance upon the perpetrator. Perhaps the deterrent effect might make people who make this kind of disgusting threat think more than twice.
The public need some form of reassurance that something is being done to prevent the monsters walking free. Too much focus is put on the ‘rights’ of the perpetrator, and not enough on the rights of the public to go about their business unmolested. The penalty does not have to be applied for every murderer, just enough to make a dent in the reoffending rate.
Perhaps our politicians should consider starting by rescinding the 6th protocol of the European Human Rights act.
For UK statistics and details of the death penalty up to 1964, check here.
For another side to the history of the British death penalty, try here.
Please note that only three posthumous pardons have been given for convictions in error that led to the death penalty in 20th century Britain. There are currently no specific historical records of murder rates in the UK currently on line apart from here.
Makes a change from talking about parking restrictions doesn’t it?