Tag Archives: capital punishment

Capital punishment: A Liberal opposition

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Between 14 July 2020 and 16 January 2021, the United States government executed its first thirteen criminals since 2003 – in fact, this was the most people ever executed in such a short space of time by the federal government.

However, fourteen states continue to execute people on a regular basis. President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic, seeks to end the death penalty at a federal level, but this does nothing to stop states or the several other countries around the world that still employ the method.

Indeed, several high-profile cabinet members in this country, such as Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and Home Secretary Priti Patel, have expressed the view that we should reinstate the death penalty in the United Kingdom. With all this in mind, let us remind ourselves why, as liberals, we firmly reject this development.

First of all, consider how it must feel on that day, both for the prisoner and the family. On the prisoner’s side, your last day is meticulously planned out, as revealed in this protocol from Montana. You will receive your last visitors at around 8am, and make your last phone call around 10:30. You may choose to spend all day with a chaplain, but all day the increasing knowledge of what is coming at the end will loom over you.

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Opinion: Celebrate 50 years free of the death penalty

Noose, Old Austin County Jail, Bellville, Texas 0130101348BW
This week marks half a century since the last executions in England.

Around the world, the death penalty has been reduced to a minority practice. Only 58 countries mow use capital punishment. Asia is its last redoubt, where ninety per cent of executions take place there. It may well be connected that the continent in which democracy is least prevalent is where execution is most common. Many new democracies created in the last 50 years abolished the death penalty when they threw off the yokes of military dictatorship, communism or apartheid.

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Jeremy Browne writes: World Day Against the Death Penalty

Jeremy Browne with Eastlea Amnesty Youth Group

Today I met with a group of students, activists and academics to mark the eighth anniversary of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, and the fourth anniversary of the European Day Against the Death Penalty.

It has been a longstanding policy for the UK to oppose the death penalty in any and all circumstances as a matter of principle. As an individual, as a Liberal Democrat and as a Minister, I have always worked hard …

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Opinion: Don’t make Guido’s day

What an enjoyable holiday Guido Fawkes must be having. While he is sunning himself in France he is also managing to create a ludicrous fuss in the UK with his campaign to use the new e-petition website to ask for a vote in the Commons on Capital Punishment.

For some reason this seems to have got Lib Dems in particular into a tizzy – blogging, tweeting and generally upsetting themselves about this, to no purpose at all.

Here‘s the thing: there is no chance whatsoever of a vote in the Commons supporting the return of the death penalty. None. …

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Martin Shapland writes: A petition to retain the ban on capital punishment

You can tell it’s silly season. The top story today is that a petition on the Death Penalty is at the top of the government’s new e-petition site. You might not have noticed that the petition with the most signatures says – ‘Retain the ban on Capital Punishment.’

Yes I launched the petition; no this isn’t a vanity project. Paul Staines (AKA Guido Fawkes) and the Daily Mail, which have both launched campaigns to restore the death penalty, need to be opposed. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and most Members of Parliament happen to be on holiday.

It might …

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Opinion: Why Sir Cyril was wrong

Now, it’s easy to pretend that your political hero is perfect. It’s easy to write hagiographical accounts of a life without mistakes.

I felt that about the late Sir Cyril Smith MBE, formerly MP for Rochdale. I shall forever feel proud about how Cyril took me under his wing. I will be forever proud now that Sir Cyril called me his friend and gave me so many tips, so many words of advice about how to do my job. (I was Lib Dem Agent in Rochdale from 2004 – 2009) I wrote about ‘our Cyril’ for his 80th

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