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The Death Penalty. Could you?


I was pleased when watching the news I heard the failed suicide bomber from the Mumbai bombing case was being sentenced to death and my reaction shocked me. I heard myself say ‘Good’ but Death is so final, is it right to wish someone dead?

The man in question had caused many deaths and untold misery for the families connected to the victims of his dirty deed that yes, he must be punished…but death? and why was it making me happy and satisfied that justice had been done?

Yesterday I read that the devil brothers had lost a challenge against their sentences and I was happy I congratulated the judge for having good sense at long last.

I can hear myself say ‘ They should be locked up and the key thrown away’ and again, I’m wondering where this reaction comes from? I know I was horrified and incredulous reading the torture they had carried out on those poor lads whose own lives are changed forever, sentenced if you like to the misery of haunting memories. The devil brothers’ actions saddened me to think there can be such nasty, evil children amongst us.

Do you remember a few weeks back a young lad who had stabbed a burglar entering his house, then dragged through the courts for a year, his whole life on the line for having protected his family? He was let off any jail sentence as it was deemed self-defense. Well I was happy for him. I thought he didn’t deserve to be punished for protecting his family and home

I think what bothers me more than anything right now is we actually have to put up with everyone’s human rights and I think it’s all gone a bit too far.

Essentially human rights were set up to safeguard people and I agree with that but it seems these very rights are being turned against us and used for a means of gaining money ie compensation. Paid out by us the taxpayers.

How on earth did we get into this mess? and more importantly how are we going to get out of it?

Going back to the Mumbai suicide bomber, well he wanted to die anyway, so a death penalty would probably do him a favour , maybe in his case it would be better to let him live and be ridiculed for eternity. Maybe that would be a more fitting punishment?

As for the Devil brothers I don’t think they will ever be ‘cured’ of their dreadful toxic life. I don’t believe they can become ‘normal’ people and live in society without being a danger. Their childhood neglect is too deep. So what’s the answer? Hang them? Put them in jail for the rest of their lives with Playstation and Wii fitness games? I don’t think they’ll ever learn and fully understand what they did was wrong and why by doing that.

Look at Jon Venables, he’s already back inside and God only knows how many near misses there were whilst he enjoyed a new identity safe in the knowledge that he was out and free.

Looking around our Broken Britain, I do think sometimes that maybe the death penalty would be a deterrent. Our jails are at maximum capacity and we can’t send them to Australia anymore, no they’re sending them back here!  (Remember the paedophile a couple of years back? Already spotted in car parks ogling over young boys with their mothers)

What’s the answer in your opinion? Could you sleep at night having sentenced someone to death?


12 Comments leave one →
  1. Alessandra permalink
    06/05/2010 2:52 pm

    No, I would not be able to sleep at night konowing that I have sentenced someone to death; or at least I hope that I would not be able to. Because otherwise it would mean that I have lost a lot of what makes me human.
    And yes, I do understand that there are such atrocious crimes and people who commit such unforgivable actions that it is really difficult not to come to the point where you say “off with their head”. But the State is not the individual; we, as individuals can feel so outraged that we want to see those people dead-the State though is super partes, it administers justice not tribal revenge. Also, how many cases of miscarriage of justice have we heard of or read about?
    Would we be able to sleep at night knowing that we might have sentenced to death an innocent person?

    • 06/05/2010 2:58 pm

      True true but do you ever find yourself thinking ‘Bring back hanging’ in anger for those crimes commited?

      • Alessandra permalink
        06/05/2010 3:24 pm

        oh yes we do!

  2. Jean permalink
    06/05/2010 3:16 pm

    I’m not sure I could live somewhere that actively advocated taking a persons life in the name of justice, to me that’s an oxymoron.

    Firstly, does it actually work as a deterrent? I think the number of prisoners on death row in the U.S. tells us not. A person who is mentally or morally corrupt isn’t going to stop and re-think because the punishment is death. There’s no argument that people commit heinous crimes but as a moral civilised society is our only option to kill them? There’s nothing better we can come up with? Does it not make us the same? Or is it because justice is on our side and the motivation behind taking someones life is in it’s name is acceptable? Surely taking a life is taking a life and perpetuating that cycle serves no purpose other than to breed contempt for the value of a persons life. Add into that the logistics of how it’s achieved, who we ask to make that decision, who we ask to deliver the injection/throw the switch/push the button, and the effect on them and society. Personally I find it a barbaric and inhuman practice and I wouldn’t want it done in my name.

    So in answer to the question … no I don’t think it is the answer. What is the answer? I’m afraid I don’t have that either, but it’s got to be better!

  3. 06/05/2010 7:04 pm

    In the heat of the moment I do say “oh I wish we had the death penalty” but in reality I couldn’t live with it, however I do think that life in prison should mean life and prison should mean prison, not cushy B&B.
    Also totally agree about human rights going too far, if you choose to break the law that should be seen as voluntarily giving up your human rights, in my opinion anyway.

    • Jean permalink
      06/05/2010 7:19 pm

      Which laws broken deserve the withdrawal of which human rights?

      • 06/05/2010 7:47 pm

        all of them in my opinion. If you choose to break the law then why do you deserve them? It’s often suggested to do with burglary when people defending their home are then arrested, that shouldn’t happen. If someone trespasses/breaks into your home then that should equate to a voluntary giving up of their rights which would mean the home owner can defend himself and not face jail.

      • Jean permalink
        06/05/2010 8:09 pm

        I’m wondering where the line is drawn. We’re saying here that any law broken equates to a loss of all your human rights and justice is metered out by citizens in the moment? I’m not by any means suggesting that someone can’t defend themselves or their property but by this supposition are we then now allowing greater liberties to be taken?

        Do minor laws broken deserve the same penalty? Slightly exceeding the speed limit, copying a CD from a friend, allowing your sheep to graze on your neighbours land? And what human rights can we withdraw? Can we deprive the perpetrators of their right to food, a fair trial, their right not to be tortured?

        Just asking 😉

      • 06/05/2010 8:57 pm

        Fair point, I should have been more specific! Not all human rights, still a fair trial for example, but if they run from a crime and trip on a loose slab on the floor they can’t sue, things like that. They shouldn’t be allowed to claim compensation or mount legal action against someone if they did something that wouldn’t have happened had the crime not been committed. Does that even make sense?!

      • Jean permalink
        06/05/2010 9:13 pm

        I agree, we’ve somehow evolved a compensation culture in which ridiculous claims, as in your example, see the the light of day, and receive payment. I think conditions in which parties can counter-sue or claim need to be better considered, but I advocate for the maintaining of a persons *human* rights, once we start depriving people of their human rights we can only foster a society that has no respect for those.

  4. 06/05/2010 9:04 pm

    I wasn’t going to comment, but got drawn in.

    It probably won’t win me many friends, but I feel highly uncomfortable about the general reaction to the ‘Devil Brothers’. You acknowledge that they suffered appalling childhood neglect, yet seem to hold them entirely responsible for their actions and believe no punishment is harsh enough. I don’t believe that children are ‘evil’, I believe that they are the products of their upbringing, and as such are victims themselves.

  5. 07/05/2010 9:48 am

    It’s a difficult one isn’t it?

    I myself am torn between two ideals. Angry on one side that the two boys arrived at such horrific tortures, angry that social services didn’t act before hand on the knowledge they had, incredibly unhappy for the two boys tortured and left for dead. One still in hospital recovering from being bashed on the head with a sink after torture, and being forced into sexual abuse with his cousin twice.

    What if he was my boy? That’s the thought going round and round. Would I be so sympathetic, think of his torturers as victims of neglect?

    No, I would be livid at what they had done to my boy in the cold light of day and at 10 years of age an inkling of what is right and what is wrong EVERY child has.

    Yes, children are products of their upbringing, I agree children aren’t born evil but give them evil every single day of their life, neglecting them of any love, cuddle, endearment showing them only a life of alcohol, porn movies and violence be it on film or in the house then the child will learn to be just so.
    How do you correct years of such teaching?
    My fear is that our social systerm would be too weak, that with all their good intentions they wouldn’t be able to correct those lads. My fear is these poor victims as you rightly say are so far gone they are beyond repair.
    I am angry with them and yes, I do find it hard to find sympathy for them in heart, I acknowledge that and realise I am not in the right to think like I do but simply talking about it, as NOT talking makes it even worse.

    I only wish I did have the right formula to put the world right – wouldn’t that be lovely?
    Thanks Alessandra, Jean, Livi and Heather for such an interesting debate. 🙂

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