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Should we have the death penalty?

Confidential staff debate the merits of a return of the death penalty following Channel 4’s, The Execution of Gary Glitter.

Published on November 11th 2009.

Should we have the death penalty?
Yes: - 90%
No: - 10%

Jonathan Schofield - editor says..“ The vote figure above is false. Someone's been seeding this vote unfairly. The Vote operates on trust that you only vote once. The 60-40 figure yesterday was acceptable. Someone with time on their hands has spent a few hours last night pressing yes to the death penalty. That's probably 6000 clicks judging from the reads. How ridiculous.”

Yes to the death penalty

How many times have you gasped in revulsion in the knowledge that a convicted murderer, rapist or paedophile is going to see the light of day as a member of society again?

Our justice system is not working.

Prisons are overcrowded and are often more like hotels, pandering to the rights of prisoners - rather than the hostile environments they should be as part of a punishment regime. Added to this, the nature of the 'naughty step' judicial system is an open invitation for criminals to re-offend. And re-offend they do.

Far too much emphasis is placed on the convicted murderer, the one being executed if the death penalty were to be re-introduced. The victim is forgotten. Human rights laws are plastered all over a person who has no respect for human life and the outcome is that murderers, rapists and child abusers still have all the rights they took away from their victims in the first place.

The only issue for debate in the matter of capital punishment is the innocent. We all know that errors in the criminal justice process have occurred and will continue to occur with or without the death penalty. Modern day advancements in DNA testing alongside appeals processes mean we continue to strive to punish the guilty only.

As G Edward Griffin, author of The Great Prison Break wrote: "If we design a legal system that will be so generous to the suspect that there is absolutely no possibility of unjustly convicting that one out of ten thousand defendants who, in spite of overwhelming evidence, is really innocent, then we have also designed a legal system that is utterly incapable of convicting the other 9999 about whose guilt there is no mistake."

Back to the death penalty specifically. For Society to function in a safe, secure and free way, we must be confident that criminals who commit the ultimate crime, the taking of life from another, will be apprehended and dealt with in a way which is commensurate to that crime.

A life for a life - it's as simple as that. Society’s revenge for the ultimate crime.

No second chances for those who deny people any chance at all.

No to the death penalty

The Execution of Gary Glitter as a TV show was a cheap trick. To use a ‘celebrity’ in its show trial and to try him for crimes which have never carried the death penalty in Britain, showed that despite the pro and cons debate attempted during its ninety minutes of airtime, it was ultimately a ratings grabbing, sensationalist exercise.

The simple fact is that the death penalty has no affect on crime levels and brutalises the societies that have it.

The list of nations who still have capital punishment is headed by China and its outrageous execution rate of 5000 per annum. Then you get Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and so on. A role call of despotic, autocratic regimes ruled by one party states, or still under the cosh of medieval dogmatic religious groups and their one-eyed point of view. They are everything the West since the Enlightenment has been trying to move away from.

Oh, and then there’s the United States.

Or certain of the United States, shame on them. These sorry administrations in their capital punishment systems, move through a progression of trial, verdict, appeal, appeal, appeal and last ditch appeal, until years later in some vile ritual prisoners receive lethal injection or the electric chair. Talk about ‘cruel and unusual’.

This macabre dance of death would be the future British way if capital punishment were re-introduced. Any road to execution would have to be tortuous. The fear of killing a condemned murderer who subsequent evidence may reveal was innocent (and we’ve had a few of those recently haven’t we?) would make any process drag on and on.

Of course to make sure we don’t short change victims a life sentence should mean life (imprisonment until death) with a review, perhaps at 25 years, to see if the prisoner may be rehabilitated into Society.

But we should never embrace the death penalty again. It is brutal, savage, raw vengeance; it is old fashioned and out of time. It’s legalised murder. We have to be better than this. Or rather we have to hope we are better than this.

And if more than 50% as the Channel 4 programme claimed, think the death penalty should be brought back, then our more intelligent and thoughtful population should continue to tell them they’re wrong.

Jonathan Schofield - editor says..“ The vote figure above is false. Someone's been seeding this vote unfairly. The Vote operates on trust that you only vote once. The 60-40 figure yesterday was acceptable. Someone with time on their hands has spent a few hours last night pressing yes to the death penalty. That's probably 6000 clicks judging from the reads. How ridiculous.”

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96 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

CasNovember 11th 2009.

I think a lot of the problem here is the public's view is that a life spent in prison isn't really that bad. Not sure to be honest if that is correct or not. However there are so many pitfalls to the death penalty as displayed in the countries that do have it. My personal opinion has been that preventing murder is the most important aspect of all this and I don't think the death penalty is as much of a deterrent as life in say a Thai prison, we just need to get the balance of prison conditions right. You can learn nothing from a dead person.

scoteeeNovember 11th 2009.

Good point Cas.Perhaps we should be sending some of our prisoners to other countrys.I can think of three reasons why.The tax payer would pay less on account of the up keep of a prisoner in a Thai prison.(UK could do a deal with Thai authorities whereby they are paid 50% of what it costs us to keep them).Secondly a British prisoner might well think twice of a stint in a foreign jail, and finally those in society in favour of hanging would move forward from the antiquated and backward views of the death penalty as an option atall!

TomNovember 11th 2009.

Try telling that to a coroner.

CasNovember 11th 2009.

You know what I mean Tom, you big pedant!

scoteeeNovember 11th 2009.


ONovember 11th 2009.

This program was great. First class acting and production. The guy who played Glitter was brilliant, as was the hang man (or, hanging technician). Jail isn't the 'hoiday camp' that the meida portay but I still think capital punishment should be brought back for certain crimes (but then the level of crime becomes subjective and it's hard to set precendent so my opinion is flawed). I can totally see the other side of the argument but if you saw that programme a few weeks ago about the girl who had acid thrown in her face... how could you argue with the scum who did that being sentenced to death? What is the point in them going to jail? The guy was 21, he'll be out aged 38. Hang him instead. In fact, no joke, I reckon I could do it. I'd be happy to pull the lever on him.

aciiiiiiidNovember 11th 2009.

Or throw the same acid in his face.Old idea based on school days but if you got caught doing such an act then the same should be done to you.

DescartesNovember 11th 2009.

Personally I think it should be brought back, but only on a voluntary basis. Anyone that agrees with capital punishment can sign a register, and then when they f*ck up we let em fry.

AnonymousNovember 11th 2009.

Isn't our justice system supposed to be about reforming criminals? Seems to me it's pretty hard to reform someone after you've killed them.

emma graceNovember 11th 2009.

I'm sure we've had this debate on here in some form before. Why should our tax money go to feeding and heating and clothing scum like the baby P killers, the moors murderers, the James Bulger killers etc etc. Life for a life I say. I am 100% sure that if someone (god forbid) was convicted of killing one of my loved ones, I'd be happy to see them swing for it. And I don't care what anyone makes of that. Little baby P was left in his cot with a broken spine for god knows how long, in pain, unable to help himself...why do the people who did that to him deserve a second chance? They don't. Fact.

CasNovember 11th 2009.

Emma, I hear what you're saying but I wouldn't want them to get the easy way out. I'd want them to rot in a cell for the rest of their lives.

emma graceNovember 11th 2009.

Yes but that's the thing...it never is the rest of their lives is it. The sentencing is disgusting for some of these crimes, and then to make it worse, they appeal. Then in some cases the great British public foots the bill for new identities for them. If the sentences fitted the crimes, then fair enough. In my opinion you can't say fairer than a life for a life.

ONovember 11th 2009.

@anon. Fair point, custodial sentences are meant to rehabilitate as well as punish and provide protection for the public, but how many people who commit the most vile crimes are reformed or rehabilitated Could Glitter be rehabilitated? Doubt it. It might be a good idea to let the victims decide. If the girl who was raped and had acid thrown in her face preferred her attackers to be jailed then fair enough, but if it happened to a relative of mine, I wouldn't be happy to see them go to jail. So maybe victims choosing the punishment? I know that isn't really realistic or intelligent, it's just an option that I like.

emma graceNovember 11th 2009.

I do not buy into the rehabilitation argument. I really don't relish the thought of sharing a bus or hotel or whatever else with these people in 20 or 30 years time. I don't care how reformed they are. You can't erase crimes like that with good behaviour. Reformed or not, you still killed someones mum or dad, son or daughter.

scoteeeNovember 11th 2009.

Like I said, send them to another country that will house them for us. THe other countrys with weaker economies (hard to imagine i know) get the funds to do it and actually make money from it,UK taxpayer saves money and we get to dump the ba****ds.lets face it Thailand isnt srtuggling for space and those fukas would dig a hole throw them in and guard it with a machette.Leave the European union thats what I say! This country needs to get back on track.

scoteeeNovember 11th 2009.

It worked last time and what a result too, they built a superb opera house and fantastic bridge!!!

ONovember 11th 2009.

I like Scottee's idea. The only problem is deciding who we would send. You couldn't send all murderers, like the guy who has a scrap and hits someone and they fall and bang their head on the floor, so I always think it would be the one's whose crime disturbs me or outrages me, but then who would decide on that?

emma graceNovember 11th 2009.

The people whose crimes are pre-meditated, intentional and malicious. And where there is proof beyond doubt.

DescartesNovember 11th 2009.

emma, our tax money should go on them because [1] they're in there so they can be reformed and then leave and become a productive member of society, and [2] because it's our very society that made them that way. It's hard to think that, but children aren't born murderers, something happens to them during their lifetime - our society does something to them, and in my opinion the crimes that go on in a country say more about the country itself than they do the people that commit them.

ONovember 11th 2009.

Proof beyond doubt today isn't always beyond doubt tomorrow. That's why capital punishment was abolished the first time isn't it. I agree with it in theory but it would be hard to carry out in practice.

bring it backNovember 11th 2009.

Yes emma yes yes yes. They have an easy ride in prisons these days anyway, I should know, I used to work in one. Trust me, it's not always punishment in prison.

emma graceNovember 11th 2009.

Descartes, I hear what you're saying but I'm sorry, I just can't agree. I just don't believe they deserve second chances because their victims don't get second chances. I'll shut up now as I've been on my soap box far too long for one day.

ONovember 11th 2009.

they're in there so they can be reformed and then leave and become a productive member of society... is as nice idea but have a look at rates of re offence.

DescartesNovember 11th 2009.

Fair do's O, but if that's the case (and I agree that it is) then surely we should be changing the prison system and sorting it out rather than giving up and killing people?

scoteeeNovember 11th 2009.

I'm not getting down from mine Ms G i'm still ranting !Descartes you make your point on dodgey ground i used to be up until all hours of the morning arguing with my stepfather(a well respected criminal juvenile psychologist ) his argument states that there is basis for predisposition and that society doesnt always create evil and bad people;Infact in most cases that he had been involved he was convinced all were pre-disposed to some form of extremely bad behaviour and nothing to do with society.My view on that was changed.

scoteeeNovember 11th 2009.

The point is fella, some of us just aren't wired up right from the start!

emma graceNovember 11th 2009.

My mum works in child protection. Some of the monsters she works with barely get their knuckles rapped. To be quite honest, I don't care what has driven them to murder, abuse, harm their children. The fact is, they did it. There has to be a point where we stop making excuses for people. Just because someone says they are "a reformed character", does that automatically wipe their slate clean? Does it mean that they deserve the second chance that their victims never got? It doesn't in my book!

scoteeeNovember 11th 2009.

Descartes, a few assumptions there i'd say and I am clearly no expert. if the theory is correct it doesnt suggest it's genetic flaw anymore than differing opinions show genetic differences.The brain is an amazing piece of human biology and can make all sorts of alterations in order to survive under what it may define as difficult circimstances.Should the brain alter who is to say what complexities trigger a change in bothe behaviour and emotions and the result will vary from person to person.Fortunateley those of us who may be predisposed appear to be in the minority. Killers and criminals are in the minority.Whether we hunter gathered our way or just showed up at Tesco won't change the fact that a few of us have underlying pre-dispositions some of which may or may not show themselves until later in life.There are all sorts of people that will have all sorts of predispositions and some of which life's rich experiences will only trigger a social view which is identified as unacceptable behaviour.Ian brady was convinced that nazism was his human right for example,doesnt make him wrong,it just makes him a non-conformer of society and there fore a minority outcast,and clearly a pre-disposed killer too.

Maggie LeverNovember 11th 2009.

A good friend of mine's daughter was murdered some ten years ago. In a cold blooded, unprovoked attack. The evidence was undisputable (sorry O, but there are cases where there is absolutely no doubt as to a persons guilt). There was DNA and no alibi and the rest of it. It was him full stop. How long did he get? 11 years. He will probably appeal and he will probably get his sentence cut for good behaviour. Descartes, I don't care what you say about our genes. If someone is inclined to kill, they will always be inclined to kill. You can't remove that from them. If it was your child, would you be so forgiving? I don't think you would be. If we tried to cure every single person in the world of every single affliction we'd be forever making excuses for eachother, letting people literally get away with murder. Please give it up please and accept that there is good and evil in the world and you have to get rid of the evil.

scoteeeNovember 11th 2009.

i would say maggies comment there is a good argument for pre-disposition and the fact the killers predisposition was acknowledged and identified by something around him.or i could just be talking bs of course .i dont know and I dont think any of us do, it's just something we have to very finely balance between the death penalty and healthcare.

ADNovember 11th 2009.

The USA has a higher per capita murder rate than the UK, so does the death penalty work? perhaps having a society that promotes the taking of life through the exexution of criminals makes people more likely to commit murder than if the state did not execute people?

emma graceNovember 11th 2009.

I'd say Maggie's comment is a perfect example of judges showing absolutely no respect for the lives of the victims and their families, and handing out pitiful sentences that in no way reflect the nature of the crime.

scoteeeNovember 11th 2009.

That's the European human rights laws for you emma! like I said, we should get out of Europe. It was that twat Blair that started all this and his poxy Mrs

ChickNovember 11th 2009.

emma grace, have a quick shufti on the MEN web site to see an example of a jaw-dropping sentence handed out to a 16-years-old rapist of a young boy who then went on to commit further crimes. Mind you, he's got his just desserts now, the judge has jailed him for a whole three years, bless him

leighNovember 11th 2009.

I reckon he will have completed sonic the hedgehog thirten times by then!

emma graceNovember 11th 2009.

Please don't Chick, I'm wound up enough as it is. This is why I hate this topic. I find the injustice of it really sickening.

scoteeeNovember 11th 2009.

AD, so does Canada and Australia

M30November 11th 2009.

I might be missing something, but as far as I'm aware, Gary Glitter has neither murdered anyone, or committed any offence in the UK other than the PC World incident which he's done his time for (I don't see the knives out for Pete Townshend) This programme was sensationalist nonsense which pandered to what I can only call the Karen Matthews generation who constantly bang on about how concerned they are about Gary Glitter or Jonathan King getting their hands on their kiddies, when the problem is, in 9 out of 10 cases, much closer to home, and that's what needs to be addressed first. Whilst Gary Glitter and his sex tourism in Vietnam leave a bad taste in my mouth, he committed no crime in the UK, and I would take any Vietnamese explanation of events with a pinch of salt considering they have one of the most corrupt judiciaries and police forces in the world, not to mention that half the time the parents of these unfortunate children are as much to blame as the likes of Gary Glitter.

baldmosherNovember 11th 2009.

Ghandi had a good point on world blindness but I think even he would concede that we can spare a few lives nowadays. That said, Paul Gadd doesn't deserve the death penalty in any case and if it wasn't for his pseudonym his entire story would have passed under the radar. Most people don't even know what Gadd actually did, he's just a good comic hero-turned-villain for the media to hit with a red-topped stick.

AnonymousNovember 11th 2009.

Why is no one saying that if someone killed a loved one that they would rather see the killer feel and show remorse than to see them dead?? Also there are people in this world who deserve to be alive and there are people in this world who deserve to be dead but who are we to choose who lives and who dies.......

M30November 11th 2009.

...because the Great British Public are an ignorant and bloodthirsty bunch who like nothing more than retribution

Kind not brutalNovember 11th 2009.

M30 that's clearly false. I think a referendum on the death penalty could go either way. We can't be that bloodthirsty if we elect governments that ban capital punishment.

JanieNovember 11th 2009.

Emma Grace - have you considered running for Prime Minister? I think you are totally bang on with this argument and I'd vote for you in a shot.

emma graceNovember 11th 2009.

Come on M30...it's about putting yourself in that position and thinking "what if if were my loved one". There is nothing bloodthirsty or ignorant about wanting justice. And the fact is, justice is rarely done anymore with these piddly pointless sentences that are handed out, as Maggie Lever has already demonstrated. "oh but it's ok because he's said he's sorry and he's seen the error of his ways and he's a reformed character and he attends church once a week". Bullsh1t.

JasonNovember 11th 2009.

Emma I think your view point is bleak in the extreme. As the article points out, we have to be better than the criminal and that doesn't mean soft.

ONovember 11th 2009.

The kid who raped the 5 year old wasn't given a 3 year sentence he was given an Indeterminate Sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection, due to his age and serious sexual nature of his crime. So effectively he could be locked up for much longer than the minimum 3 years and 4 months recommendation. I personally would have hanged him, 16 or not, he'd raped another young boy 18 months earlier so whilst I'm not expert, will prison rehabilitate him? Will he EVER be a contributive member of society?. BUT, the victims father said; All we wanted was justice and to see our son's attacker behind bars where he belongs. Thankfully he is now in prison............ so has justice been served? Sounds like he thinks so, no?

EmmawhitefieldNovember 11th 2009.

The problem with the death penalty as a few people have said, is that there is no margin for error - when new evidence comes up 10 years later which exhonerates a convicted murderer, you cant exhume them and reincarnate them. Also, where do we stop with this? I believe the last woman to be executed in Britain, Ruth Ellis(?) killed her partner following years of physical and sexual abuse - who makes the call on whether she should be executed or not? The problem is, the judicial system in this country is so tied up in human rights, PC bullcrap and bureacratic nonsense, that the actual point of the system has been lost. The point is to punish offenders, not just process them. And by bringing down punishments for the most heinous crimes, we by rote bring down the punishments for more 'minor' crimes (which may none the less have had a devastating effect on the victim) to a point where its barely even worth the offender being punished at all! Most of them get off with time served on remand!My proposal would be a contract of society - everyone in the country would have to sign up for it in order to be considered a citizen of this country (and therefore qualify for the benefits of our society, like the NHS, benefits etc). This should include agreeing to the laws of the land in which we live. Then - if someone breaks this contract, by committing a crime for example, they lose their rights as a citizen - and in cases where they have killed or abused or raped (in other words disregarding someone elses human rights), then they lose their human rights too.I find it absolutely sickening hearing these stories where prisoners who've been convicted of killing and ruining lives, bleat on about how their human rights are being infringed because they've had their tv taken away, or they have to share a flaming toilet! Under this system, you step out of line, you lose everything - no benefits when you get out of prison, none of this protecting your identity - you take your chances just like everyone else does. I know it's never going to happen, because god forbid we infringe the human rights of someone who has no regard for anyone else's. And god forbid we actually protect the members of our society who actually contribute and abide by our laws - how ridiculous!I think a much fairer justice system would come by offenders being judged and sentenced by a jury of their peers - rather than by a judge who is following guidelines and is so used to processing offenders that they must become numbed to the human impact of their crimes.In short - although in some cases I think the death penalty would be more than appropriate, in reality I think a complete overhaul and reform of our justice system would be much more feasible.Plus - bring back the stocks for these asbo's - most of them act like it's some kind of street cred to get an asbo - lets see how cocky they're feeling after being laughed at, pointed at and pelted with rotten fruit for a couple of days!

M30November 11th 2009.

We elect successive governments who ban capital punishment, because no EU country may execute anyone. Where are we, Azerbaijan?! Capital punishment has no place in the 21st Century even though the majority of the Great British Public would vote for it to be reintroduced - but in the same way the majority of the Great British Public would also vote to leave the EU but without having the slightest clue what the ramifications would be. The main problem is the Human Rights Act and a soft judiciary in the UK lead by Cherie Blair who will go to any length to avoid sending criminals to jail. I've said it once, but I'll say it again, if we had corporal punishment in schools, the adult crime rate would be significantly lower.

ONovember 11th 2009.

LOVE the stocks idea. Not sure about a jury of peers setencing people as opposed to a judge whose studied law his whole life, sentencing offenders based on decades of precendent and case law. What's next, getting on a plane flown by the bloke in the pub?

judeNovember 11th 2009.

Yes we should definately have the death penalty. It would save US the tax payers a fortune. With forensic evidence such as DNA it is now rare that the wrong person will be convicted. Prisoners should have bread and water and a mattress on the floor, they wouldn't want to go back there. Stop pandering to their needs and think more about the victims of their crimes. AND DON'T preach on about Human Rights, these should be taken away form evil people, what about the rights of the victims.We should have differenc degrees of Murder, if a person is murdered because they abused their child and when that child becomes an adult and kills the parent, yes they should service a prison sentence, but although this is not condoned you can understand why they did it. However someone who kills cold bloodily should be executed!!I personally would castrate rapists and paedophiles and hang out their genitals for all to see.Don't get me wrong I believe SOME people deserve a second chance we all make some sort of mistake throught our life, but let's make sure the punishment fits the crime.

JDNovember 11th 2009.

I have worked in 7 different prisons across the North West for the past 12 years; Young offenders, Men’s and Women’s. Some of the inmates I have had to deal with would welcome the death penalty after years of thwarted suicide attempts which in no way deter them from trying again and again to end their own lives. They have nothing to go out to but drugs and crime all over again, and life inside is lonely, humiliating and boring!I am not offering an opinion on this debate either way as I don’t think I can, but I am adding some weight to the argument that they are punished far better in prison, when many of them just want to die anyway; particularly ‘lifers’.

AnonymousNovember 11th 2009.

Emma I am not saying that you are blood thirsty and I am not comparing the word remorse with an apology and attending church. but I dont understand why people would not rather see someone feeling true agony at what they have done and for them to live with guilt for the rest of their life than see a dead body? Maybe in some people you would never get remorse but I wouldnt want that chance for true remorse taken away... I suppose you would have to ask someone who's loved one was murdered, where the murderer was sentenced to death and whether that made them feel any better or made their loss any easier. I suppose some victims may feel relief and some may not. But like I said there are people in this world who deserve to be alive but arent and there are people in this world who deserve to be dead but are alive, who are we to choose who lives and who dies....... ”

Tyson the BeerhoundNovember 11th 2009.

You will always get the nutters wanting it brought back, not realising we're living in the 21st century. Sadly, the justice system doesn't elp matters with its sentencing policy, but then people should campaign for life to mean life-simple as that.There are two simple words that sum up why capital punishment is wrong: Stefan Kisko

AnonymousNovember 11th 2009.

In the USA they have found that people who are cruel to and abuse animals often move on to doing the same to children surely that proves predisposition? I once met a retired polie officer whose job it was to visit British people in foreign prisons, he said that hard bitten grown men had begged to be brought back home as those prisons wre tough. We should have punitive sentences , not try to rehabilitate, that doesnt work,

PaulaNovember 11th 2009.

I would agree with the death penalty if all convictions were safe. Unfortunately too many innocent people are convicted and 1 death of them is too many as far as I am concerned. Too much of the authorities still stitching people up and fixing evidence too.

VixNovember 11th 2009.

Death is an easy way out.... Solitary confinement for the rest of their years is a much more fitting option. Mandatory torture for special occasions such as birthdays and christmas should also be a part of the package... Just to give them something to really look forward to

StuartNovember 11th 2009.

Can I ask those who support the death penalty what their view would be if a relative of theirs' was due to swing and they knew for a fact they were innocent?Brady, Huntley etc actually want to die, for them, death would be a release, granting them that doesn't sound like justice to me. Many killers are pathetic losers downtrodden and beaten by life, for them, death is a relief.

EmmawhitefieldNovember 12th 2009.

O - glad you liked the stocks idea..lets get a petition going - could set em up in the Urbis gardens - that'd soon clear the area!On the sentencing thing, obviously you'd have to set up guidelines, like a minimum and maximum term (although maximum being 'actual life in prison' not 10 years!), and let the people decide. The problem I guess is more with the actual law that the judges have studied, than with the judges themselves. But some of the sentences handed down are a complete joke. JD says that a lot of inmates want to die, and death would be a relief after years of suffering in prison - but what about the people who (literall) get away with murder, and serve a measley 3 years or so? There's light at the end of the tunnel for them - unlike the victims or the families which are left to pick up the pieces. As for the getting on a plane with a guy from the pub....would he charge me for checking in a suitcase - if not then I'm in!!

scoteeeNovember 12th 2009.

Stuart, Brady wants to die but has been in Ashworth hospital and forcefed in response to his hunger strike,waiting for lawyers to move him to a normal prison.What is happening here is that Brady is of sound mind and judgement but they are deliberately lengthening his stay in Ashworth hospital labeling him as a mental patient and consequently stopping him from commiting suicide,I am pretty sure he is feeling it.And I am pretty sure he will end his days in Ashworth, it is illegal to be forcefed in a normal prison.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2009.

In the USA they have found that people who are cruel to and abuse animals often move on to doing the same to children surely that proves predisposition? I once met a retired polie officer whose job it was to visit British people in foreign prisons, he said that hard bitten grown men had begged to be brought back home as those prisons wre tough. We should have punitive sentences , not try to rehabilitate, that doesnt work,

scoteeeNovember 12th 2009.

Well, as a member of the BNP, I support the death penalty!!!

Bill ANovember 12th 2009.

1. Anyone who thinks the justice system and even worse, the appeals process rarely gets it wrong doesn't know what they are talking about. Too many people form their opinions from right wing press.2. The purpose of prisons should be to reform and rehabilitate. There is little sign that the punishment works so after centuries of waste, a more civilised approach is overdue.3. If a progressive attitude was taken to drug policy the effect of prisons could be improved to work for society.4. Many of the people in prisons are society's failures so why should their lives be blighted or damned for the satisfaction of the elitist minority.

EmmawhitefieldNovember 12th 2009.

East lancs - nice conclusion! ha ha.Also - Scoteee and Stuart - totally agree - Brady shouldn't be allowed to choose his time of death, just like his victims didnt choose theirs. Myra Hindley's now dead isn't she? And no doubt rotting in hell.

ONovember 12th 2009.

I'd say if you believe plenty of innocent folk are framed then you are a complete f*ckwit to be honest. framed? We have arguably the fairest criminal justice system in the world, it's just the sentenceing that needs amending. Yeah the US justice system has proven that capital punishment is not a deterent; murderers either don't believe they will be caught, are crazy and don't think about being caught or commit murder in the heat of the moment, but still, if my relative was murdered, personally I would like to see the murderer hanged, even though I don't believe jail is an easy ride (for most people). I don't know why this is. Maybe I'm a bloodthirsty vengeful animal.

M30November 12th 2009.

I knew it wouldn't be long before someone brought up Myra Hindley *bites tongue*

EmmawhitefieldNovember 12th 2009.

M30 - my bad....it seemed like a natural progression....I got carries away in the heat of the moment.....burn Hindley burn!!!!

roseNovember 12th 2009.

what we shoud remember is that properly done hanging is instantaneous - see the youtubes of Nazis being executed for proof - and we need to ask why spend all that money on someone that society would rather see dead?

east lancsNovember 12th 2009.

O, you misunderstand - I meant "plenty of folk who were wrongly convicted would be dead", I'm not implying that plenty of convicts are innocent. Generally, I'm sure justice is done. However this is not always the case, so unless we are 100% certain somebody "did it" and may do it again, we should not execute, simples!

emma graceNovember 12th 2009.

And where we ARE 100%, then to echo rose, why spend any extra money on giving them another chance? They had their chance.

oranges and lemonsNovember 12th 2009.

I don't believe in second chances! A life for a life! Not only will justice be served, but it would be a massive deterrant to others! Why rehabilitate? No-one wants them back in soceity do they??? I most certainly don't!!

lucky-chrisNovember 12th 2009.

In the US capital punishment costs the taxpayer more than a life sentence. Who knew, eh?

ONovember 12th 2009.

Sorry East Lancs it was the 'framed even' that threw me. I wasn't sure what you meant by 'framed' or who 'framed' them. I'm not surprised that it costs more to execute in the US than keep them in jail, they are on Death Row for years and have half a dozen appeals. Our system could be like the Glitter program, 30 days in which to appeal, then hang. Of course, not much can change in 30 days can it, so I can sort of understand the death row process. Still though, I've mentioned it before, so sorry to bang on, but the guy who raped then arranged for acid to be thrown in the models face, if I had a choice for my money go towards paying for him to be in jail for 17 years or to be executed whilst the girls life is ruined, I know what I'd go for. Abhorent crime.

NoMoreInsideJobsNovember 12th 2009.

I think a majority of the public would support the return of the death penalty because they are shocked and disgusted by certain crimes.However there is no evidence that this would reduce crime rates or costs(unless there was a quick execution and no appeals process which seems unlikely.)The countries with very low crime rates eg Denmark,Norway,Sweden etc have quite lenient sentances , they also have no underclass , ie , they do not have a 'bottom rung' of people who feel that they have little to lose by going to prison.The best way to reduce crime according to 99% of experts in this area ? Reduce poverty, reduce the gap between rich and poor.We have too many lazy rich parasites.I would never consider robbing a bank but the notion that this is an immoral act has been weakened by the actions of the banksters.Why not kill all the murderers, banksters and expense-cheating MPs ? I have no objection to this , it might make us all feel better but it wont solve any fundamental problems.

marko poloNovember 12th 2009.

Bring it back with technology today no innocent person would be hanged if the courts are not 100% sure then bang them up till new evidence is found to convict them or find them innocent.

ADNovember 12th 2009.

No more inside jobs you do talk alot of rubbish. These 'banksters' you would hang were not commiting any crime! Not only that what they were doing was leanding money to people who couldnt aford to pay it back - ie poor people. If the banks dont lend the poor money (for fear of the gallows) the poor will stay poorer longer! Your hang the wealthy aproach sounds like communist claptrap to me! 20 years since the wall came down - you should move on!

DaveNovember 12th 2009.

I'm not sure I really trust the justice system to decide who deserves it and who doesn't. Many of our judges seem out of touch, or even away with the fairies. Why would they be any better at that than they are at custodial sentences vs community penalties, and how much time is warranted? My other thought is, why do many other European countries have it relatively so good with crime rates, particularly violent crime, and yet they are seen as having "soft" justice systems? Is it because we, like the Americans, have such a sharply divided society?

AnonymousNovember 12th 2009.

someone else already said it.our criminals are a product of our society, prohibition and control never work, with anything. The more rules we have the more will be broken. but never mind, we'vee got Heat and big brother and a hundred channels of garbage to keep us distracted so who cares?

The Whalley RangerNovember 12th 2009.

Good Lord! We have had to endure a lot of mental diarrhea above. Fact is that the death penalty is not an issue anywhere in the world apart from in China.....and the US. I rate the TV programme in question on the same level as the hype over the BNP appeareance on Question Time. All it does is fuel the irrational fear of the common bored housewife and unemployed beer-belly bearing baldy.Propaganda springs to mind...

EddieNovember 12th 2009.

I am somewhat confused about Whalley Rangers point. Except that it is extremely bigoted and sexist!

Jonathan Schofield - editorNovember 12th 2009.

The vote figure above is false. Someone's been seeding this vote unfairly. The Vote operates on trust that you only vote once. The 60-40 figure yesterday was acceptable. Someone with time on their hands has spent a few hours last night pressing yes to the death penalty. That's probably 6000 clicks judging from the reads. How ridiculous......

vote yesNovember 12th 2009.


JanineNovember 12th 2009.

This just shows how unreasonable and wrong in the head the vengeance is mine, blood-lust lot can be.

NoMoreInsideJobsNovember 12th 2009.

Does AD work for a bank ?Will he/she admit it ?The banks have damaged our society at least as much as any murderer.

AdNovember 12th 2009.

No I dont!

JrPeteNovember 12th 2009.

No more inside jobs you used to be 911 was an inside job didn't you? You have an odd view of the world generally but if you think raw, bloody murder is less of a crime than fiddling the figures then you are mad. The bankers were imagination-free, greedy ba****ds but they were not killers. Get some perspective in with the Marxism.

NoMoreInsideJobsNovember 12th 2009.

I have never posted under another name although 911 was clearly an inside job , one of many in recent history.The banksters have weakened society , not just stole our money , we live in shallow cynical times and the actions of the banksters have contributed massively to this.

Larry who is often happyNovember 12th 2009.

You have a terrible world view. Yes we can be shallow and cynical in the West but good lord man, we have also delivered the most liberty and freedom, we have legal obligations enshrined in law about equality and fairness. All this is framed in a capitalist framework because people and society thrives on competition. And I have lots of friends and acquaintances who are neither shallow nor cynical. I really don't want to live in your gloomy world. Hey fella why not go and look at the Christmas lights tonight, go for a drink with some chums, let the life of what is essentially a functioning society back into your life. It's very teenage to always think we live in the worst of times.

NoMoreInsideJobsNovember 12th 2009.

Hi LarryI am glad you are often happy so am I. I dont share your positive view of capitalism but I do share your positivity(although this may not come across in my posts.)Myself and most of my friends simply ignore capitalism , govt sponsored terrorism , ITV , reality tv and all the other rubbish.We all volunteer our time and money to help others and we strive to make the world a little better.

FredmadmanNovember 12th 2009.

That NoMoreInsideJobs eh. He's Jesus I reckon.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2009.

As an aboriginal Anglo Saxon I well remember the days when if some guy from another family (tribe) killed your brother they had to pop round and pay the wergeld compensation. but that was 1500 years ago. But I am concerned with some people writing on here who seem to think there emotions about an event miles away which they are not concerned with but only read in the paper is sufficient to demand death. It is the worse sort of sentimentality. and dangerous to boot. Its worth googling for the rest of the quotation in the question 'It's 'An eye for a eye...' We indigenous chaps were ahead of the curve

RebeccaNovember 12th 2009.

Whether you believe that the death penalty is just or not, the fact is that we and the courts inevitably sometimes get it wrong - it would be naive to think otherwise. I would far rather a guilty person went free than an innocent person punished by death.

Castlefield SteveNovember 12th 2009.

1) The death penalty is wrong. The justice system is run by people and is hence fallible.2) For those that think feed and clothing guilty prisoners is cheaper than the the death sentence are wrong. The death sentence only make lawyers rich with numerous appeals etc.3) The UK cannot bring back the death penalty. The British government (along with other governments) signed the 2000 Fundamental Rights Treaty which means our membership to the EU would be suspended if we tried to bring it back. This is further enforced by the ratification of the Lisbon treaty.

The Whalley RangerNovember 12th 2009.

Eddie, does the phrase 'common bored housewife' turn you on? Good Lord!

CheeseyNovember 12th 2009.

Jonathan, if this vote has been compromised then take it off the site. That's what editor’s do, they don’t bleat about it whilst allowing this travesty to continue uncorrected. You damage your reputation and the reputation of this site with this inaction.

Jonathan SchofieldNovember 12th 2009.

It will be gone tomorrow, Cheesey

JuliyhaJune 25th 2011.

Americans continue to be divided on the death penalty, which is not used in many other nations in the industrialized world. Though the argument over the capital punishment and its morality is one that will continue for a long time, the costs of the capital punishment is considerable. I found this here: <a title="Using capital punishment comes at a high price to taxpayers" href="www.newsytype.com/…/">Taxpayers… foot hefty bill to have the death penalty</a>

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