It would be a brave experiment to introduce the death penalty for 'minor' crimes like mugging, robbery, burglary, shoplifting and drink driving offences. If we did actually manage to quickly execute those convicted, the subsequent crime statistics would then demonstrate once and for all if capital punishment was a deterrent?
For these crimes, it may very well turn out to be a deterrent? Then we may find that we have many further problems?
One of the problems with executions on this scale would, be to find enough people willing to do the practical things like push the buttons, pull the levers and watch all these people die. It seems to be agreed that we are generally a more violent society but strangely there still appears to be a shortage of willing executioners? I wonder how many of those supporters of the death penalty would be willing to actually execute and continue to kill those convicted? ……Would you?
That is why we come up with all these 'infernal machines' to do the dirty work for us and to try and enable us and those unfortunate souls, involved in the process of being 'hit-men for the state', to sleep at night. A return to public executions with one person with sharp axe, would at least be a more honest approach?
There is no nice or clean way from the state to coldly take a person's life away. The attempts we presently make to achieve this are hypocritical and obscene.
I am generally in favour of compromise but on this issue, the results of that compromise are clearly unsatisfactory. On this issue, it is really a case of all or nothing.
Extract from the Daily Mail 17th March 2000.
A serial killer who sexually abused 100 boys, before strangling them and dissolving their cut-up bodies in acid has been sentenced to die in the same way. A judge in Pakistan yesterday told Javed Iqbal that he will be publicly strangled, cut into 100 pieces and dumped in a vat of acid.
Prosecutor Burhan Moaazam said the sentence on Iqbal was fitting as a warning to others. 'the accused was not a man, he was a beast', he said. 'What was announced by the learned judge was right for him'. However Pakistan's interior minister said such public executions were not permitted and would be challenged in the High Court. Moinudeen Halder said 'we are signatories to the Human Rights Commission. Such punishments are not allowed'.
The above was originally posted in this earlier thread Songs about capital punisment.