The death penalty

2

Comments

  • Colin McLaughlin wrote (see)

    I believe the trial judge should have the discretion to impose the death penalty if:

    (a)  the crime is sufficiently heinous that it cries out for it; and

    (b) as well as the jury having convicted, the judge himself is 100% satisfied that the case against the accused has been proven.

    (If there isn't any doubt about guilt - and there often isn't - then arguments about the danger of putting to death the wrong person fly out the window.)

    However, it is rather pointless discussing this. Although the British public favour the death penalty, our Westminster Parliament won't give it to us. So much for the notion of democracy.

     

    a) How do you decide if the crime is sufficiently heinous?

    b) Guilt can never be proven 100%, and the burden of proof on the prosecution is beyond reasonable doubt.

    c) You can't blame Westminster. As I have already said, Parliament are not allowed to bring back the death penalty, as it contravenes Article 2 of the ECHR, which is an absolute right, so can't be derogated from.

    I hope that addresses the points that you made.

  • (a) Let the judge decide.

    (b) Obviously there are cases where guilt is proved 100%. e.g. clear video evidence. Or a guilty plea.

    Like I said, concerns about putting the wrong person to death aren't relevant where the person is clearly guilty. Then it becomes a question simply of, ought this person be punished by being put to death for a crime of this seriousness?

    (c) I don't think you're right here. Otherwise why would Parliament keep debating the death penalty frequently?

    Article 2 says "1. Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law." The words I have put in bold seem to allow a state to impose the death penalty, in fact. But correct me by all means if I have misinterpreted this.

  • and retaining Article 2 of the EHCR is one solid reason why the UK should stay in Europe. if the country withdraws from the EU, the right wing Daily Rant readers will be clamouring for the return of the death penalty as the country will no longer be bound by that convention.

    and nobody should ever have discretion over whether to lay down the death penalty - such an act would be as bad as a Roman Emperor giving the thumbs down in a Colisseum fight just because he could.  we are beyond barbarism

  • There are a few side issues worthy of consideration

    1) An admission of guilt does not mean guilt

    2) If you prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone is guilty or if there is overwhelming evidence, maybe they should be killed humanely if they so choose (they choose to do it with razors and bootlaces so why not) what is being gained by keeping Ian Brady alive against his wish?

    3) There seems to be an absolute view that it is wrong to take a life just because that person has previously done so, this is not necessarily wrong, and taking the life of a murderer could be considered humane, cost effective, and a comforting preventative action.

  • fat buddha wrote (see)

    and retaining Article 2 of the EHCR is one solid reason why the UK should stay in Europe. if the country withdraws from the EU, the right wing Daily Rant readers will be clamouring for the return of the death penalty as the country will no longer be bound by that convention.

     

    Did you not read what I wrote at (c) above? The Convention doesn't seem to prohibit the death penalty anyway.

  • C McL

    this makes things pretty clear as to the death penalty - http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/187.htm

    it's supplementary and successor to the other acts and conventions and specifically prohibits the death penalty under ALL circumstances,  specifically read the Explanatory Report (link in top right) and read Pt 2 in the Introduction - http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Reports/Html/187.htm

    clear??

  • fat buddha wrote (see)

    and retaining Article 2 of the EHCR is one solid reason why the UK should stay in Europe. if the country withdraws from the EU, the right wing Daily Rant readers will be clamouring for the return of the death penalty as the country will no longer be bound by that convention.

    and nobody should ever have discretion over whether to lay down the death penalty - such an act would be as bad as a Roman Emperor giving the thumbs down in a Colisseum fight just because he could.  we are beyond barbarism

    I would emigrate if the same people who want to canonise a person who shoots a burglar in the back while is was running away from their property had anything to do with making decisions on something as important as the death penalty.
  • I think to shoot a burglar whether running away or not (in the heat of the moment) is legitimate

  • EKGO wrote (see)

    There are a few side issues worthy of consideration

    1) An admission of guilt does not mean guilt

    2) If you prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone is guilty or if there is overwhelming evidence, maybe they should be killed humanely if they so choose (they choose to do it with razors and bootlaces so why not) what is being gained by keeping Ian Brady alive against his wish?

    1. No, but you can't really complain you're being hard done by being put to death if you chose to plead guilty in the first place, having been advised the death penalty might be available to the judge. It's your own fault, pretty much.

    2. One argument is that confining someone for life is punishment, whereas allowing them to die voluntarily would be less so.

    A judge could impose a combination sentence, e.g. a life term (e.g. 10 years' incarceration) to be followed by the death penalty after 10 years, so the punishment of having to sit in a cell wouldn't be bypassed too soon.

  • EKGO wrote (see)

    There are a few side issues worthy of consideration

    2).......what is being gained by keeping Ian Brady alive against his wish?

     

    becuase as yet we do not allow voluntary euthanasia.

    perhaps we gain nothing by having Brady alive, but equally the law does not allow him to choose to die - so he lives.

    I have no problem with voluntary euthanasia - if someone chooses to die through illness, despair, grief, guilt or whatever they whould be allowed to choose that as it's a personal choice.   but that is subtly different to a death penalty imposed by law

     

  • cougie wrote (see)

     
    Plus we do convict people wrongly. What happens then ? Execute the judge/jury/lawyers ?

    That might just make the lawyers closing argument a little more exciting !

  • Allowing them to choose would be a cost effective option, dread to think how much it costs to keep a man in a maximum security prison for a year.

  • I think that the system would be clogged up by civil lawsuits if prisoners were given the option of choosing euthanasia. Imagine all those tort actions from family members who claimed that the prisoner never would have ended their life but for the action of the state in keeping them in such conditions that death was preferable.

     

  • cougie wrote (see)
    Does the death penalty work in the US where they have it ? Are their crime rates any lower ? If they aren't then it doesn't work so why have it ? 
     

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state#MRord

    Seems to show conclusively that almost all the states with the death penalty have the highest murder rates.

  • Well we should make it as hard for them to gain from the system as we do for the victims of crime

  • JF50 wrote (see)

    Seems to show conclusively that almost all the states with the death penalty have the highest murder rates.

    Stats say what you want them to say, maybe the death penalty is there because the murder rate is high

  • xine267 wrote (see)

    I think that the system would be clogged up by civil lawsuits if prisoners were given the option of choosing euthanasia. Imagine all those tort actions from family members who claimed that the prisoner never would have ended their life but for the action of the state in keeping them in such conditions that death was preferable.

     

    sure - it would be a difficult one to manage.  

  • You could pay off the relatives out of the £45k per annum you'd save

  • fat buddha wrote (see)

    C McL

    this makes things pretty clear as to the death penalty - http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/187.htm

    it's supplementary and successor to the other acts and conventions and specifically prohibits the death penalty under ALL circumstances,  specifically read the Explanatory Report (link in top right) and read Pt 2 in the Introduction - http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Reports/Html/187.htm

    clear??

    It doesn't seem to get you very far, fat buddha.

    Rickster wrote: "Also, we wouldn't be able to bring it back, as it contravenes Article 2, the right to life, of the European Convention on Human Rights. This is an absolute right, so can't be derogated from." I pointed out that Article 2 doesn't actually prohibit the death penalty. It allows for it as a sentence for a crime.

    You are now referring to Protocols 6 and 13. On my reading of them, Article 5 of Protocol 6 and Article 4 of Protocol 13 both contain a mechanism for states to opt in and opt out from time to time for their own personal convenience. Even if the UK has signed up to Protocols 6 and 13 (I haven't checked this point), it can opt out whenever it wishes. It doesn't appear to support your argument that we need to stay in Europe to keep ourselves bound by provisions outlawing the death penalty. If the UK has signed up to the Protocols you mention, we can simply give notice under Article 5 / Article 4 not to be bound any more, and we won't be bound any more.

    But correct me if I'm wrong.

     

  • Even if voluntary euthanasia was legal in the UK, I wonder if prisoners would be allowed to chose it while they were incarcerated or if it would be forfeit while they were serving their sentence - like the right to vote.

  • Generally, no. The best argument being when you look around and see which regimes have the death penalty - Iran, China, North Korea, erm Texas



    The only exception is in times when national survival is at risk, when I can kind of see it may be required for traitors and the like.
  • Colin McLaughlin wrote (see)
    fat buddha wrote (see)

    C McL

    this makes things pretty clear as to the death penalty - http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/187.htm

    it's supplementary and successor to the other acts and conventions and specifically prohibits the death penalty under ALL circumstances,  specifically read the Explanatory Report (link in top right) and read Pt 2 in the Introduction - http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Reports/Html/187.htm

    clear??

    It doesn't seem to get you very far, fat buddha.

    Rickster wrote: "Also, we wouldn't be able to bring it back, as it contravenes Article 2, the right to life, of the European Convention on Human Rights. This is an absolute right, so can't be derogated from." I pointed out that Article 2 doesn't actually prohibit the death penalty. It allows for it as a sentence for a crime.

    You are now referring to Protocols 6 and 13. On my reading of them, Article 5 of Protocol 6 and Article 4 of Protocol 13 both contain a mechanism for states to opt in and opt out from time to time for their own personal convenience. Even if the UK has signed up to Protocols 6 and 13 (I haven't checked this point), it can opt out whenever it wishes. It doesn't appear to support your argument that we need to stay in Europe to keep ourselves bound by provisions outlawing the death penalty. If the UK has signed up to the Protocols you mention, we can simply give notice under Article 5 / Article 4 not to be bound any more, and we won't be bound any more.

    But correct me if I'm wrong.

     

    ECHR Protocol 13, Article 1 - Abolition of the death penalty.

    "The death penalty shall be abolished. No one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed."

  • Given we bombed the crap out of Dresden, one or two executions of Jerry spies weren't really pushing the envelope of "acceptable".
  • Johnny Blaze wrote (see)
    Given we bombed the crap out of Dresden, one or two executions of Jerry spies weren't really pushing the envelope of "acceptable".

    But they were bombing London during the Blitz. War is totally different.

  • Rickster wrote (see)

     

    ECHR Protocol 13, Article 1 - Abolition of the death penalty.

    "The death penalty shall be abolished. No one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed."

    Yes, yes, yes, but  Article 4 – Territorial application

    1     Any State may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, specify the territory or territories to which this Protocol shall apply.

    2     Any State may at any later date, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, extend the application of this Protocol to any other territory specified in the declaration. In respect of such territory the Protocol shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of such declaration by the Secretary General.

    3     Any declaration made under the two preceding paragraphs may, in respect of any territory specified in such declaration, be withdrawn or modified by a notification addressed to the Secretary General. The withdrawal or modification shall become effective on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of such notification by the Secretary General.


    Summary: This seems to say a state can opt in, and a state can opt out later. It doesn't get you very far. I thought I made this clear enough in my reply to fat buddha. We are no more barred from imposing the death penalty if we have signed up to Protocols 6 and 13 than if we haven't.

    But correct me if I'm wrong.

     

  • Ever heard of The Geneva Convention Rickster?
  • Were there Geneva Conventions before 1948?

  • I chose my words carefully - wars of national survival.



    Vietnam - no

    Iraq - no

    Afghanistan - no

    WW 2 - yes

    WW1 - borderline
  • Protocol 6 to which you are referring was enacted on 1st November 1998.

    Protocol 13 was drafted on 2002 and over rides Protocol 6.  

    Protocol 2, Article 2 – Prohibition of derogations

    "No derogation from the provisions of this Protocol shall be made under Article 15 of the Convention."

  • The bit about territories in Protocol 13 means that any signatory country can apply this to their overseas territories as well, not that they can derogate from it!

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