The Death Penalty Revisited
The true meaning of punishment may only be found in the death penalty justly imposed.
1. Re – examination
A further essay is called for to re-consider the psychological nature of capital punishment and the equity of this sentence of death. The Law of England and Wales should always reflect equitable principles and apply them with their full force. Our Judges should no longer be trammelled by the inflexible and sanctimonious Rights Act and they should be set free to do justice in all her equitable glory – both civil and criminal jurisdictions.
2. Psychology of the “lifer” regime:
Some comparisons do not bear examination and one such is the current life policy regime compared to the crimes committed by these convicted persons. These life sentences do not do justice to these crimes of murder and leave the proverbial man on the Clapham Omnibus feeling irate and disheartened. Our criminal justice system should inspire and not deflate. Where is the equity in these grossly expensive, macabre and highly tendentious life sentences imposed by Judges with no choice. What about the prison officer’s dignity and self esteem whose detainee has no hope of release and rehabilitation and yet that prisoner is simply whiling away his days relatively comfortably without any thought of remorse or sorrow for his terrible misdeeds. These crimes will never be put right and the degree of brutality and cruelty to sometimes very vulnerable victims of murder by these perpetrators is atrocious and appalling. I am afraid a prisoner is judged by the Court who sent him to prison and the jury who convicted him. Sorrow after the event of the crime, arraignment and trial and sentence is too late to save that Defendant from the gallows in my view. To spare the lives of these murderers is simply inequitable compared to the realization of the enormity of their crimes and criminal intent premeditated before the fact. Society is made to look foolish and very weak by its current life sentence for murder policy and practice. More than several of these offenders will never show any contrition as we all know indeed most will be incontrite to the end. A religious upbringing is neither understood, applied nor accepted thinking in our modern social mores. Even if an offender does confess to sorrow as with Hindley to Lord Longford before she died the genuine nature of that confession is very much in doubt before her captivity. It is crocodile tears to attain an end result. True sorrow is motivated by self loathing not selfishness and in liberty. Only God may penetrate a man’s soul and conscience. Yet we are not to consider ourselves helpless in these issues. Our society should support a criminal justice process which encourages contrition for these exceedingly heinous crimes of intentional murder. There is no doubt the imminence of death in the gallows concentrates everyone’s mind particularly the Defendant’s and rightly so. He will have the prison chaplain at his side to go through this process of execution which is merciful and yes punitive but not barbarous for these murderers.
3. The Meaning Of Punishment for Murder:
I am afraid life sentences are not true punishment. They are a soft option and the Defendant will have all the medical treatment he needs with other privileges of life style within the prison walls. There will be no hard labour as in pre-war decades. Yes the man in the street is right these prisoners have it far too good and justice for these lifers is crying out loud for the death penalty to properly mark the gravity of their crimes. Without the use of the death penalty for murder the criminal justice process is emasculated. Look at Japan and her trials of her war criminals – World War II – none put to death by an International Tribunal if any by her own Tribunals. In Argentina the trials of the Junta for liquidating the “disappeared” in the 1976 -1984 period resulted in no death sentences. This is puny justice. Punishment means punished for murder – namely the Death Penalty itself. Yes these lifers go unpunished because our society will not put its foot down and insist on Capital Punishment for murder. Field Marshall Haig was right: Those who desert should pay with their lives when so many others were sacrificing their lives on the Western Front which was vital to the Anglo-French campaign against the Kaiser’s Imperial army of Germany. The Nuremberg trials had teeth and did not let the German criminals go unpunished. Those trials rose to the challenge of the task before them even though no Court could really do justice over the scale and horror of the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany in that Second World War. If a Judge is not prepared to sanction and contemplate punishing through the death penalty for murder there is no long term future for such a High Court Judge in our criminal justice system trying murder cases. Like it or not the British people of England Wales will not tolerate the vacillating and timid status quo any longer. The signs are there in the electoral success of UKIP. England and her Judges are not weak – Mark my words we will without doubt secede from the EU and repeal the Rights Act and reintroduce the Death Penalty as the standard bearer country for constitutional freedoms and conscience the world over. There can be no justice or punishment in England and Wales in the true sense without these three legislative steps which I have advocated previously in my essays. The Judges rightly will not enter this debate, but be interested observers.
4. The Concept Of Impunity:
Under the Rights Act regime throughout Continental Europe and England and Wales there is a strong strand of impunity. Why? Because however many policemen you murder you can only go to prison for life. You will never lose your own life in the gallows. If you go to prison for life and escape then murder another policeman you will simply get another life sentence. There is no deterrent – it is “hung for a sheep hung for a lamb” the murderer could not care less – eg: Peter Sutcliffe who was a serial killer knowing he would get the same life sentence for ten murders as he would get for one murder. This thinking does operate in the minds of these murderers and the lack of bite and feebleness of the present deterrent should not be overlooked.
I must say a word about the young generation brought up to believe strongly that the death penalty is inhumane and unjust. A real effort should be made in the schools and universities to counter this school of thought and the counter argument must derive from this concept of punishment without hardness is no punishment. Everyone is taught to enjoy an easy life even the lifers are permitted that under the Home Office directed prison regime. If you go to prison you serve your time and get out – even lifers do and if not, they are still well looked after. They are not punished in true sense but rewarded for good behaviour. To elongate their sentences and make them suffer is thought wrong. That is true. You cannot correctly punish these murderers within the prison lifer regime. We are kidding ourselves if we believe that. The choice is to limp along with indecision and half heartedness or take the bull by the horns and have the courage of our convictions to reintroduce the ultimate penalty. God will thank us.
He will not reprimand us. Be of good heart I say to my countrymen.