NOTICE: The following article is written by the author itself and not by me, I am not trying to violate their copyright. I will give some information on them.
PAGE TITLE: http://www.express.co.uk/
ARTICLE TITLE: Why bringing back hanging is the right thing to do
DATE: Saturday June 25, 2011
AUTHOR: Stephen Pollard
AUTHOR INFORMATION: Stephen Pollard (born c. 1965) is a British author and journalist who is currently editor of The Jewish Chronicle. He is a former Chairman of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and a former president of the Centre for the New Europe, a free-market think tank based in Brussels. He has written columns for several publications, including The Times and the Daily Mail, and also has also maintained a blog. Pollard is an alumnus of John Lyon School and Mansfield College, Oxford.
LET me ask you a blunt question. Do you think Levi Bellfield, the murderer of Milly Dowler and two other young women, should still be alive?
My answer is no. Milly’s sister Gemma agrees, observing: “Justice is an eye for an eye, you should pay a life for a life. In my eyes no real justice has been done.”
If the opinion polls are right, that view is shared by roughly half the population.
A poll in September 2010 found that 51 per cent supported reinstating the death penalty for murder, compared with 37 per cent who oppose it.
A few years ago I’d have been with that 37 per cent. I was opposed to capital punishment.
Of all the arguments against, one mattered most: better that 99 guilty men should go free than that one innocent man should be killed.
So my view was that murderers should be locked up but not executed. Keep them in spartan conditions.
Make sure life really means life. And do everything possible to ensure that they spend the rest of their lives in misery.
Then something happened which changed my mind. In December 2006 Saddam Hussein was hanged in Iraq.
Try as I might, I couldn’t think of a single reason why anyone could disagree with his execution.
There was no doubt about his guilt. He had murdered hundreds of thousands by deliberate actions, some in cold blood.
He expressed no remorse. He was as close to pure evil as any man can get.
To me the question wasn’t whether he should have been executed. It was whether there were any valid reasons not to kill him. And there were none.
But either capital punishment is immoral or it isn’t. It can’t be immoral occasionally. And if it was right that Saddam was hanged then it’s clearly not an issue of principle.
In which case why Saddam and not Ian Huntley? Or Levi Bellfield? After all, who could fail to be moved by the words of Milly Dowler’s mother Sally outside court yesterday?
“The lengths to protect his human rights have seemed so unfair compared to what we as a family have had to endure. I hope that whilst he is in prison he is treated with the same brutality he dealt out to his victim and that his life is a living hell.”
This is where so much of the opposition to the death penalty falls apart.
When Saddam was executed the condemnations were deafening in their silence.
With very few – entirely honourable – exceptions there was not a word of criticism of the Iraqi decision to hang him.
But if, as opponents of capital punishment believe, it is immoral to execute Ian Huntley, Ian Brady or any other killer, it was surely just as immoral to execute Saddam – or Martin Bormann, Hermann Göring and other Nazis who were convicted at Nuremburg.
Yet when Saddam was executed there was not a word of condemnation from the Labour government.
But to a man and woman its members oppose the death penalty here. It is a perverted moral calculus which holds that a death sentence is acceptable if there are hundreds of thousands of murder victims but unacceptable if there are only a few.
We can argue about the details – to which forms of murder the death penalty should apply and in what circumstances – but the principle is clear. That is why Levi Bellfield should hang.
Thank God it is impossible for most of us to have any real understanding of what the through over the past nine years.
To lose a child in any circumstances is an unimaginable nightmare. To lose a daughter in the way that Milly was taken is too painful to think about.
No normal human being could follow Bellfield’s trial without being stunned by the gut-wrenching tragedy suffered by the Dowlers and enraged by the depravity of her murderer.
As if that was not enough suffering for them to endure, Bellfield put them through further trauma at the trial by refusing to admit his guilt and attempting to switch the blame for Milly’s death to her father Bob Dowler.
Which of us could endure our every foible being exposed and picked over with forensic questioning from a barrister?
We all have areas of our life which are intensely private. Exposure alone would be bad enough, allowing everyone else to pick over and comment on.
But exposure as part of an attempt by your daughter’s murderer to insinuate that you, in fact, are the real cause of her death?
Like so much else in this terrible story that must have been unendurable.
AS VICTIMS’ Commissioner Louise Casey said yesterday: “No one in this country can think what happened to them in that courtroom was right.”
The Dowlers’ private lives were torn to shreds at the Old Bailey. Milly’s mother Sally and her sister Gemma, 25, collapsed, unable to bear it any longer as the verdict was returned.
Yes, the legal process which allowed that to happen must be examined. But one man was responsible for their suffering, not the legal system.
It speaks volumes about Bellfield that he thought nothing of letting his victim’s family go through hell in the witness box.
So push me for a reason why he should not be executed and I struggle. All I can come up with is that idea of his remaining life being a “living hell” as Mrs Dowler put it.
But from what we know about the criminal justice system the idea of life meaning life is unlikely.
Who would bet against some human rights organisation campaigning for his release in 20 years’ time?
As for the idea that it is better that 99 guilty men go free than one innocent man is hanged: better for whom?
PLEASE GO TO THIS BLOG POST TO SEE AN EARLIER ARTICLE WRITTEN BY STEPHEN POLLARD.