Every so often, following a particularly horrendous crime which captures the disgust of the British public, such as the recent murder of two school girls in Soham, a topic  comes to the fore once again – that is -   whether or not the death penalty should be re-instated.  

I personally believe it should not.

The last people to face the death penalty in Britain were Peter Anthony Allen and Gwynne Owen Evans in 1964.   The UK abolished the death penalty for murder provisionally in 1965 and in 1969 the abolition of the death penalty was made permanent in Great Britain.   However, the death penalty is still used in some states of America today.

There are numerous reasons why I believe the death penalty should not be brought back

  1. The death penalty is an extreme punishment for those found guilty of committing a serious crime.  However, what if the person executed was in fact innocent?  Evidence could be unearthed after the initial trial proving the convicted to be not guilty.  With the law as it is at the moment, if such evidence was found, an appeal could be made and there would be a re-trial.  If the new evidence was substantive and proves to be vital to the case, the defendant could be found not guilty and would be free to go home.  Under the death penalty system this could not happen as the convicted would already be dead.  Surely, the risk of murdering an innocent person is a good enough reason not to have the death penalty reinstated.
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The risk of an innocent person being executed is higher than you would perhaps have thought.  Whenever there is a heinous crime, there is always a public outburst for ‘justice’ to be done.  This puts pressure on the police to solve the case quickly, which sometimes results in the wrong person being convicted.  

A good example of this is the ‘Birmingham Six’.  At the height of the troubles with the IRA, six men were found guilty for bombing a bar in Birmingham and killing many people.  A public ‘outcry’ caused the police to look for someone to ...

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