UK History of Capital Punishment

In this documentary by the BBC it takes a close look at the history of the death penalty and the public’s overriding that despite it being finally abolished in 1969 it should be reinstated.

The question most often asked is whether the death penalty is a deterrent and whilst some purport to have evidence to the contrary the majority opinion is that such is irrelevant for what the death penalty ultimately does is to prevent a person from reoffending.

There are of course sound arguments on both sides of the debate; watch the video and then have your say.

Have your say… Leave your comments below.

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  • dudleysharp

    The primary reason for the death penalty, as all sanctions, must be that they are just, deserved and proportional to the crime – justice or just retribution.

    In addition, the death penalty helps to spare net more innocent lives by three methods:

    The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter? =A Review of All Innocence Issues

    • Scooter Livingston

      Must really suck for you the the EU has your bloodlust declared illegal

      • dudleysharp

        It is unfortunate that many governments end the death penalty, in contradiction to their populations, which support the death penalty for some crimes, as a product of justice.

        • Scooter Livingston

          Don’[t worry, Dudley…you can move to Saudi Arabia, China or North Korea just to name a few places. You’ll feel right at home

          • meebal

            Scooter, Dudley’s views are not in the minority. The British Government suspended the death penalty in 1965 despite overwhelming public opposition. In 1969 it was abolished, again despite over 60% of the public wanting it reinstating.

            In a recent poll conducted earlier this year 55% of the British public stated they would support the reinstatement of the death penalty but only for specific crimes, such as child rape, child murder and terrorism.

            There is strong evidence to suggest that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime but the public consensus is that such a penalty ultimately denies a person the opportunity to ever harm another human being.

            There are other debates going on including whether it is inhumane to imprison a person for their entire natural life however there are studies suggesting that certain criminals, such as Myra Hindley and Ian Brady could never be rehabilitated.

          • Scooter Livingston

            Timothy Evans

          • meebal

            Certainly a valid point and one often used in the case for abolishing the death penalty, or in the UK’s case ensuring it is not reinstated.

            The debate is multi-faceted and certainly the system is not perfect despite the forensic capabilities in modern criminal investigations; something that was not available in Timothy Evans day.

            Side Note: For those readers who are unfamiliar with the case of Timothy Evans see –

            There is of course another side to the debate; that being ‘democracy’. Democracy is about majority consensus and yet despite mass public support the issue of the death penalty is refused a forum in the House of Lords.

            When it comes to democracy and if you want such to exist and indeed flourish then you cannot cherry pick issues.

            Thanks for the comments Scooter and the issue of Timothy Evans; certainly worth reading and adding to the debate.