Big Mick, with respect, I have to take issue with your post.
Like you (& it seems, like Peter) I am firmly opposed to the Death Penalty.
I cant offer anything as a UK 'comparison' to the situation(s) Peter posted, but to answer him with the situations you did is not comparing 'like with like'.
Its more comparable with Guantanamo & Abu Ghraib.
None of these, of course, excuse the other, they're all wrong.
Not sure why you brought up the Revolution & 1812 at all, but no matter.
A 'dig' at the way the USA does things isnt necessaily meant as insult to you, regardless of how you, or any other American takes it, nor should a 'dig' at the British Govt. (of whatever era, though if of a past era, the 'dig' means less than nothing...it can hardly change anything) offend us.
Likewise, for ANY of us to criticise Bush/Bliar shouldnt really offend any other of us.