Mudcat Café message #70505 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8178   Message #70505
Posted By: skw@worldmusic.de
13-Apr-99 - 05:01 AM
Thread Name: Songs about capital punishment.
Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
What about Bonnie Susie Clelland (Child #65), burned at the stake for being in love with an Englishman? And Eric Bogle wrote a moving song about South Africa, Singing the Spirit Home, from the album of the same title.
Incidentally, Tim Evans was not the last man by a long way to be hanged in Britain. He was hanged in 1950. However, MacColl's song is credited with helping towards clearing Evans' name - which was finally done in 1966.
One of the last to be hanged must have been James Hanratty, the alleged A6 murderer, in 1962. I've just read he is about to be pardoned - strange word! - 37 years after. Another irreparable miscarriage of justice. Derek Bentley is another that comes to mind.
C. P. must have been abolished about 1964, for I remember Hamish Imlach introducing 'Tim Evans' in 1989 with the words 'It was twenty-five years last month since they last hanged someone in Britain. Mrs. Thatcher wanted to celebrate by hanging several people again.'
Hamish DID have a strange sense of humour. He used to introduce 'MacPherson's Lament' by saying that there was a time when simply being a gypsy was a capital crime in Scotland. Unfortunately, this was nothing but the truth!
Who's to decide? I don't believe in C.P., especially if, as in the US, people wait for years and change greatly in the process, and if, as Barry Finn points out, the law favours better-off and better-educated people and leaves the burden to be borne by the poor and uneducated. On the other hand, reading about what sexual offenders and paedophiles do to their victims and learning that a great number of these people are considered mentally ill but untreatable - what are we to do with them? Wait till they strike again? Lock them up for life? Also, what do you do to stop the Milosevic's of this world? I don't know. - Susanne