The comments posted on Twitter by death penalty campaigner Paul Staines are revealing. He said that:
“restoring the death penalty has profoundly eurosceptic implications.”
And furthermore that:
“US, India, China and Japan all have the death penalty on statute books. We’re out of sync with world’s leading powers.”
His eurosceptic inclinations are repeated in that list of the world’s leading powers, but what are we out of sync with?
In the United States, (where incidentally, states with the death penalty have a 35 per cent higher murder rate than those without), there is strong evidence of racial prejudice in the use of the death penalty. Among victims of murder, 15 per cent are black, whereas they make up 35 per cent of those sentenced to death. A study by the United States General Accounting Office in February 1990 reported that:
“In 82% of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e., those who murdered whites were found more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks.”
This is not a legal system, it is the old lynch mob given respectability. I am glad that Britain is out of sync with that.
And then there is China, where the bodies of executed prisoners are mined for organs for transplant operations. It is one thing, and a noble thing, to choose freely to donate one’s organs after death; it is quite another to steal them from somebody who has been killed. I am glad that Britain is out of sync with that, too.
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Here is the petition, if you wish to sign it, along with a rival petition against restoration of the death penalty:
In favour of death penalty http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/138