In 1969 the death penalty was abolished in the UK, Last night on channel Four we got too see what the world be like if it was brought back.
In this drama they used the passion invoked by the abuse of children and the case Paul Gadd better know as Gary Glitter too get they point a cross, using a plot devise called the Capital Crimes Against Children legislation. his crime was beyond any doubt so he was put too death, And that were the drama ended.
But the question becomes were do we draw the line if this happen in the real world child abuse is an evil which should never stand, but what about murder ?
In 1953 we hung an innocent person on the basis of a tenuous legal argument mainly out of a bloodthirsty desire for revenge and to be seen to be making someone pay for a murder, regardless of whether or not they were accountable
His name was Derek Bentley and he was hung for his part in the murder of Pc Sidney Miles, On the night of 2 November 1952, Christopher Craig and Bentley tried to break into the warehouse of confectionery manufacturers and wholesalers Barlow & Parker on Tamworth Road, When the police arrived, the two youths hid behind the lift-housing on the roof. One of the Police officers, Detective Sergeant Frederick Fairfax, climbed the drain pipe onto the roof and grabbed hold of Bentley
Craig, who was armed with a revolver, opened fire, grazing Fairfax’s shoulder. Nevertheless, Fairfax arrested Bentley. Following the arrival of uniformed officers, a group was sent onto the roof. The first to reach the roof was Police Constable Sidney Miles, who was immediately killed by a shot to the head. After exhausting his ammunition and being cornered, Craig jumped some thirty feet from the roof, fracturing his spine and left wrist when he landed on a greenhouse. At this point, he was arrested.
The court was told his co-defendant, Christopher Craig, fired the fatal shot but because he was still a juvenile in the eyes of the law he escaped the death sentence and was ordered to be detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure
Bentley was convicted on the basis of police evidence. Three officers told the court they had heard him encourage Craig to shoot by shouting “Let him have it”.
This never happen in fact now its believed that it was yelled by the officers who had Bentley under arrest and were beating him as Craig stood on the roof top firing his gun
It was only after years and years of campaigning by the his mother, father, sister (who died not hearing the pardon) and niece Maria Dingwall-Bentley did Derek finally get justice in July 1998
Now this all happen years before DNA almost all the people in the case have pasted on but the point is that if were too bring back hanging could we ensure fairness of the justice system and how would democracy provide checks and balances against such miscarriages of justice happening again