Britain has more people serving life sentences than the rest of Western Europe COMBINED and has Western Europe's biggest prisoner population.
February 24, 2008
News of the World
WHY THE GALLOWS FEELS LIKE JUSTICE
Britain should bring back hanging, no matter what the liberal left says
BRING Back Hanging! It's hard to write those words, let alone believe it should happen.
Because—as the argument goes—we live in a civilised society, and if the state inflicts death or violence upon its citizens then don't be surprised if those citizens become violent killers.
That's the mantra of the liberal left, who insist the death penalty isn't the solution to the bigger problem, it's inhumane and, oh yes, it's totally and utterly wrong to kill people—whatever the circumstances.
Easy for them to say, from the warmth of their TV studios or well-protected middle-class homes. But come on down into the real world for a second.
Come into Linda Bowman's world. She didn't believe in hanging either until her 18-year-old daughter Sally Anne was mutilated, slaughtered and then raped by a monster called Mark Dixie.
But now she does. Now Linda says she could quite happily put the noose around Mark Dixie's neck and kick open the trap door. And she means it.
She's not hysterical. She's not emotional. But, thanks to Dixie, she's now devoid of all compassion. Wanting HIM dead is what keeps HER alive.
And isn't that the point? None of us can have any meaningful opinion on the death penalty until we have been directly affected by a crime so savage that it wrecks lives for ever. All of us who moralise about hanging or death by lethal injection have probably never been affected by a rape, murder or crime so hideous it destroys the very core of our moral compass.
But how can we expect a mum like Linda Bowman to buy the argument that if we bring back the death penalty an innocent person may be executed?
Her daughter WAS innocent, for God's sake!
As are most of the people who get stabbed, raped and shot on our streets. Their only crime is "being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Yet another argument that makes my blood boil, because if we had crime under control—if our government hadn't handed over great swathes of our towns and cities to the yobs—there wouldn't be any "wrong" places.
Maybe those liberals sneering at people who call for the death penalty (the friends and relatives of the prostitutes murdered by Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright for a start) and talking as if THEY'RE the savages, ought to think how their views might change if it was THEIR wives, THEIR daughters, THEIR sons who'd been mutilated or murdered.
Hand on heart I don't want the death penalty. But if I was Linda Bowman I know I would. If I was Garry Newlove's widow Helen I know I would.
And it seems incredible that in the week when two of the most callous murderers of the past decade—Wright and Dixie—were found guilty, Jack Straw decided it was a good time to tell magistrates not to send people to jail.
Is it any wonder the British people are baying for blood when they see a government that—every time a child is stabbed, every time innocent people are beaten to death—vows on the one hand to get tough yet on the other tells magistrates NOT to send people to jail?
Don't they understand we wouldn't need the death penalty if, when crimes are first committed, the punishment was severe enough to deter people from doing it again?
If a burglar knows he'll be sent to prison for five years for a first offence he won't do it. If a killer knows life actually means life he'll think twice. If a rapist knows it's ten years with no extenuating circumstances he'll walk away.
But habitual, hardened criminals now know that whatever they do (barring murder) it's unlikely they'll be locked up because there's nowhere to put them. And even if they are, it'll be for a derisory period of time.
This government needs to act fast because we're now living in a country that's boiling over with anger, a country where decent, law-abiding people are moving ever closer to vigilantism, revenge and demanding a life for a life.
Yes, I'm an inch away from jumping on to those barricades myself, because I've seen at close hand what these murdering monsters do to people.
It's not just their victims they kill. They kill the people who love them, they kill hope, they kill compassion and they sure as hell kill the entire concept of human rights.