Saturday, 6 October 2012

Law Repeal

My learned readers and friends,

Can the devolved assemblies of the United Kingdom legislate for the introduction of capital punishment?

If so, I should exhort the Northern Ireland Assembly to debate this measure instanter.


Les Clarke said...

Capital punishment is forbidden to all EU member countries.

It's an EU thing, and nothing to do with the UK.

Timothy Belmont said...

Another reason to leave the EU.

Anonymous said...

There have been many clear miscarriages of justice, the most appalling being the mother ? Sally Clark ? who was found guilty of the deaths of two children, which she claimed were cot deaths. The so-called expert witness Prof. Roy Meadows denied this was possible - millions to one chance. He was later struck off the medical register. Sally ( who later died very young ) would have been hanged !

Anonymous said...

The question falls to whether we value ourselves as a society committed to humanity and the rule of law. There is a certain barbarism to resorting to this medieval form of punishment which represents little more than officiated retribution and revenge by the state. This is so because all serious academic studies have found that there is no deterrent effect in societies which still practice this particular form of punishment.

Speaking as a barrister, it is patently incorrect to attempt to link the EU and the prohibition spoken of. It is true that the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union prohibits the death penalty being imposed however it adopts the protocols of the European Convention of Human Rights - a document of the Council of Europe, quite apart from the EU. Further, the United Nations has passed, most recently in 2007, a moratorium on the use of capital punishment. Leaving the EU, aside from being an impossible thought if we hope to continue as an economic power of any significance whatever (a tangental remark, I concede), will do nothing at all to alter the legal status of capital punishment in the UK.

The issue of miscarriages of justice are clearly questions of importance. The ultimate purpose of the justice system is to ensure the stability of society. Whilst part of this purpose is to exact a feeling of justice against those who commit heinous crimes, it is not in place to salve the consciences or provide the tools by which feelings of wrath (perhaps naturally) felt at times by independent onlookers may be effected against those who do even the most wicked acts.