The ‘State’ already has the death penalty. It uses it. This State. The United Kingdom.
Yes it does!
I have watched with grim fascination the debates occurring on this blog – for and against the death penalty as a criminal sanction. The passion and the fury fought out in the comments.
I have campaigned for years against the Mental Capacity Act which gives the State the ability to sentence to death perfectly innocent citizens. Apart from a select few commentators, there is very little interest in the matter.
What is it? I am genuinely puzzled.
Is it the fact that the people condemned to death are mere ‘loon-brains’, not quite ‘all there’?
Why is everyone so complacent about the State having the ability to kill – in a particularly gruesome fashion – its own citizens under the guise of making a decision on their behalf that they would be better off dead, that leaves us, in general, unmoved – and yet we rise up with passion and commitment to ensure that the State cannot be trusted with the ability to kill criminals.
Are you all (those in favour of bringing back hanging) quite content that you will never be judged lacking in mental capacity – but might find yourself unfairly convicted of murder? Is it personal interest?
Is it that our view of mental incapacity is still Victorian in outlook, that we don’t accord these people the same citizen rights that we feel we should enjoy?
Is it that somehow starving and dehydrating someone to death is less obscene than hanging them?
Is it the fact that death occurs in hospital behind a cloak of ‘caring’ – so not as ‘in your face’ as hanging?
If the law was changed – as in the case of the Mental Capacity Act – so that judges could make the decision on behalf of murderers that it would be ‘in their best interests’ to be hanged, that their life ‘was futile’; would you then calmly accept the death penalty for Murder?
It is well known that I am totally opposed to taking a life deliberately under any circumstances; that is why I have stayed silent throughout this debate – I simply cannot get worked up about the state hanging murderers whilst we allow the state to murder the totally innocent.
I am not singling anyone out on either side of the debate, but I am genuinely interested in why so many new commentators have felt moved to say their piece on the subject of hanging criminals, and yet have hitherto remained silent as the State – this State – the United Kingdom, goes about its business of deliberately killing the incontrovertibly innocent.
Is anyone brave enough to say why they have spoken out on hanging and not on the death of say Tony Bland?
Edited to add: This piece sounds very harsh, as though I am criticising you all – really I’m not, just trying to understand why one variety of State dictated death is acceptable and another not.