Priti Patel has reaffirmed her wish to have capital punishment reintroduced in the UK on Question Time this evening. Her argument was that capital punishment should be reintroduced to act as a greater deterrent for murderers, rapists and other serious criminals.
I cannot support her view, for a multitude of reasons. As Ian Hislop quite rightly stated, we do not have a flawless judicial system. There are miscarriages of justice, and once you kill someone for the crimes they have been convicted of, there is no return from that. Ian Hislop challenged Priti Patel on this point, to which she had no answer. She said that the absolute burden of proof would be required. But people who have already convicted been convicted with absolute burden of proof have subsequently been found innocent, and would have been killed.
Those killed and subsequently found innocent cannot be simply dismissed as collateral damage of a flawed justice system.
I have no problem with tougher sentences for serious prisoners, and indeed life meaning life imprisonment. But the further step to capital punishment cannot, in our system of justice, be justified.