Mudcat Café message #3645797 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #155090   Message #3645797
Posted By: Peter K (Fionn)
27-Jul-14 - 07:39 PM
Thread Name: BS: USA sliding into depravity (botched execution)
Subject: RE: BS: USA sliding into depravity (botched execution)
Here in the UK, and relying only on my own observation, there was a tendency in the years immediately following abolition for victims' survivors and newspapers to say the perpetrator should have hanged. More recently comment has been around the length of prison term, with any yearning for execution now much rarer.

Meanwhile popular support for restoration seems to have dwindled a bit. Whereas it was at one time 70 per cent or higher, and an oft-cited example of Parliament's capacity to lead rather than be led, a survey for Channel 4 TV in 2009 showed 55 per cent in favour across Great Britain (49 per cent in just England).

In the UK de facto abolition was secured in 1965 - the last executions were in 1964 - though it was not completely off the statutes until 1998. In 1966 parliament held its nerve in the face of two colossal crimes that brought renewed strength to the restoration cause: the Moors murders by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, and the murder of three police officers by Harry Roberts and others. (Hindley died in prison; Brady, as a diagnosed psychopath, is in a secure hospital, and Roberts is still in prison having long since completed the 30-year term originally recommended.)

Two or three years ago a couple of petitions were run, more or less in parallel, under a Government initiative whereby 100,000 signatures for any cause would trigger a parliamentary debate (but with no commitment to legislate). That in favour of restoration attracted 26,000 signatures; that against, 33,000 (approximate figures, from memory).

This is consistent with trends in several other countries. As I noted above, the US is the only nation to have gone back to capital punishment having previously abolished it. (It was abolished de facto in the States following Furman v Georgia in 1972, and restored a few years later with Gregg v Georgia.)

There is no evidence to suggest that victims' relatives, or anyone else, take matters into their own hands following abolition, and there is much evidence that capital punishment has minimal if any deterrent effect. It seems that perpetrators just assume they won't get caught.