Death Penalty Supper

There’s a terrifying wave of opinion sweeping the UK. At best it only reflects the novelty of the government’s petition website (which appears to endorse the hysteria of the right wing masses with the respectability of parliamentary debate). At worst it really is what people think. They’re not just signing those petitions because it’s the anonymous Internet.

The Death Penalty has been the focus of so many petitions that the media have suggested that it will be discussed in Parliament. Everyone I know who agrees with it cites “paedos, murderers and rapists” as being suitable candidates for the lethal injection but it seems to be a simplified argument. Nobody wants to think about the complexities of the application of the death penalty.

It isn’t just emotional claptrap to worry about wrong convictions and other mistakes. The system wasn’t failsafe. If you get it wrong, an apology isn’t going to get someone’s life back.

In my view it is immensely arrogant to think that any person has any right to remove another’s life, whatever the reason. There is no moral high ground. It is one of the most base punishments administered and I personally cannot agree with it. Are we soon going to be also cutting off people’s hands if they steal?

However the opinion is that there are some criminals who have committed crimes so horrific that no other punishment is fitting enough.

It doesn’t really show much imagination. A dead person doesn’t care that he/she is dead. A dead person is relinquished from having to deal with the long term consequences of their crimes. Why should they get that relief? The victims’ families get none.

I have also heard people cite that one prisoner might cost £5k a week to the tax payer; is that not the total costs of salaries, catering, transport and security technologies, divided by weeks in the year and finally divided by the number of prisoners in a cell? If so, it is a false statistic, because if you took away one prisoner, the overall cost of running the joint wouldn’t reduce by £5k per week.

Perhaps it needs to be made lawful that living conditions for prisoners in the UK are more basic and the ‘prisoner perks’ situation should be removed from the equation, thus enabling the criminal to live long and miserably – and more cheaply.

Is it not the waste of life that the death penalty serves to punish? Nobody except the prisoner values his life, so the ultimate punishment is to take it away from him. If you literally take his life, he will never know, never feel the punishment or even experience it beyond those last few minutes. It seems so futile to call that a punishment. It achieves precisely nothing. Sure, it eradicates the offenders, but it doesn’t prevent offending and it also costs a fortune. Apparently 11 out of the 12 states in the US that practice it regularly are considering dropping it for the two above reasons.

Does a life given over to hard labour, hard cells and incarceration constitute a waste? To sit there 60 years, knowing that you might have been capable of so much more; that, to me, is an effective waste of a life.

Lastmealsproject.com is a rocking site, giving you an insight into the meals that people choose and the people themselves. Their expectations of food are so desperately low, there must be nothing in these people’s lives of any significant value if they are unable to value themselves and their bodies in their last hours.

Here’s Magpie’s Last Meal choice.

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About Sakina Murdock

Greedy, creative, gregarious bird, writing from the bonny northern hills of Cumbria's Eden. There's a lot of soul in this place and the inspiration to create is everywhere, even on the bleakest days. Soulfood. Don't just subsist.
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