26 January 2007

Saving lives by capital punishment?

Nearly 30 convicted killers released from jail over the past 10 years have gone on to kill again, according to Home Office figures released yesterday. Convicted murderers who were set free to kill, [London] ‘Daily Telegraph’, 26 January
Along with most of my generation I have an instinctive horror of capital punishment. I wonder though just how rational is that visceral feeling? The process is undoubtedly distasteful, but much of my own disquiet centres on the possibility of a government executing an innocent person. This probably would happen (and has happened) but, as the article cited attests, no less real are the innocent people killed by people who would probably have faced capital punishment if it were applied. If one of our high-priority goals then is to save innocent lives, perhaps there is a case for restoring capital punishment for convicted murderers?

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