There are some in the world of e-politics who are now making it a mission to wrongly force a debate in parliament in the hope of the return of the death penalty.
If their reasons are for retribution, they are the wrong reasons. If their reasons are for deterrent, then the question to ask is: is capital punishment a deterrent at all?
A study in America in July 2009 called “DO EXECUTIONS LOWER HOMICIDE RATES?: THE VIEWS OF LEADING CRIMINOLOGISTS” showed that criminologists did not feel the death penalty is a deterrent. View and download report here.
The online petition wants capital punishment for those who kill police officers. The 2009 study in America concluded: “We find no consistent evidence that capital punishment influenced police killings during the 1976-1989 period. . . . police do not appear to have been afforded an added measure of protection against homicide by capital punishment.”
FBI figures back up that conclusion. Rather than states with the death penalty deterring the murder of police officers, FBI figures show that it is in these states where police officers are most at risk.
So the figures don’t even support a case for a return of capital punishment.
As well as the statistics, one of the most important reasons for not bringing back capital punishment is miscarriage of justice.
History is littered with people who have gone to prison or been executed for crimes they didn’t commit. In the modern era there have been many cases in the UK of people imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit to later have their convictions overturned.
What does an eye for an eye really achieve in reality? Nothing. It may make some people feel better for a time but I suspect a very short lived sense of justice.