Pollster Anthony Wells has reviewed the polling evidence, all of which shows popular support for the death penalty everywhere in Britain, except in parliament.
A lot of readers are asking why the e-petition specifies child killers and cop killers. The reasons are two-fold, in the case of child killers some crimes are so abhorrent that society demands more than protection, it wants retribution. Myra Hindley and Ian Brady’s 13 minute tape of them sexually torturing 10 year-old Lesley Ann Downey, with the child’s endless screams and pleas for her mother, truly shocked a nation. Hindley and Brady tortured and killed five children for sexual kicks. Even after half-a-century of pampered imprisonment they proved beyond rehabilitation. In cases like theirs, where there is no doubt of guilt and after due process of the law, justice should not prevent retribution. Retribution is missing from the criminal justice system.
The Soham murderer, Ian Huntley and Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield, a serial killer, would both under this proposed legislation pay for their crimes with their own life. That is the wish of many victim’s families, in the words of Gemma Dowler they want “a life for a life”. So do the public…
When the public are asked about the death penalty the results have consistently shown a majority in favour, when they are asked specifically about child killers, the numbers change dramatically with a range of polls showing two-thirds to three-quarters in in favour. On this issue there is definitely a clear regressive majority in Britain.
It is a similar picture for cop killers, the public understands that the police put themselves in harm’s way on their behalf every day. If a criminal in the course of committing a crime kills a police officer it is invariably deliberate. Having the death penalty for cop killers will make criminals fear the consequences and give extra legislative protection to the police beyond a stab vest. Once again the public shows a two-thirds majority in favour of the death penalty for cop killers. Not because their lives are worth more than ours, it is because the police daily risk their lives to protect our lives.
The third common objection is that Britain is bound by treaties that prevent us implementing the death penalty. Some claim that the ECHR prevents us, actually the Covenant itself specifically exempts “a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law”, it is later protocols which were added on that prohibit the death penalty. The protocols can be of course de-ratified or Britain can withdraw from the ECHR. The e-petition calls on the Ministry of Justice to first review international commitments and prepare a legislative escape path before bringing forward substantive legislation. This is what a free and sovereign nation of laws does if parliament wishes to change course.
The “Restore Justice” campaign website will be up and running by the end of the week, thousands have registered to support the campaign already. You can too, here.
Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights says…
“Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.”
The Sun reports on the launch of our campaign to get a vote on restoring the death penalty. Thousands have already signed up online to support the campaign which we aim to officially launch next week.
Tory MP Philip Davies said: “It’s something where once again the public are a long way ahead of the politicians. I’d go further and restore it for all murderers.”
Fellow Conservative MP Priti Patel, backs the death penalty “It’s about time the public had a greater say on the issues that we debate. I’m not surprised that this issue has been raised. We need strong deterrents to make people think twice about the crimes they commit.”
Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner says “Congratulations on your campaign. If there is anything else a humble back-bencher can do to help…” There is, sign-up to support the campaign which launches next week:
UPDATE: David Nuttall, MP for Bury North and Chris Kelly, MP for Dudley South are the latest MPs to come out for restoring the death penalty.
We petition the government to review all treaties and international commitments which may inhibit the ability of Parliament to restore capital punishment. Following this review, the Ministry of Justice should map out the necessary legislative steps which will be required to restore the death penalty for the murder of children and police officers when killed in the line of duty.
The findings of the review and the necessary substantive legislation to be presented to House of Commons for debate no later than 12 months after this petition passes the acceptance threshold.
One of the problems with our modern unrepresentative democracy is that it is disconnected from the voters. Despite focus groups, polling and intense marketing to voters, politicians are still unable to engage successfully with voters.
There are a number of issues where the political class refuses to carry out the wishes of the people. All polls show that there is majority support for capital punishment, yet there is no majority for it in parliament. It is not even an issue for parliamentarians even though the incidence of homicide is higher now than it was before the abolition of hanging. Now that the government has launched an e-petitions site, Guido will put all the resources at his command into a campaign for a vote on the restoration of capital punishment for child and cop killers. Even if we don’t win the vote on the floor of the House, we shall at least see which MPs believe salus populi suprema est lex, and those that put the welfare of child killers above the wider community. Let them be counted.
Guido intends to launch a campaign website at the end of next week, if you want to help the campaign, in any way, use the contact form below. If 100,000 voters sign the petition we have a chance of getting real justice for the next Baby P…