Time to bring back the death penalty? | Rebecca Jane column

In 2016 for my legal dissertation I delved into the world of the ‘death penalty’. More importantly, should we bring it back, or is it right to not have it here in the UK?

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 3:45 pm
Rebecca Jane

I went into the legal cases of goodness knows how many people currently on death row (mainly in America) those exonerated and those who have died.

One of my key findings came from the letters I exchanged with people currently on death row.

I picked a random selection of people, and..

Every single one of them claimed to be innocent!

Not one person sat on death row admitted any version of guilt to me, and the reasoning was all the same.

‘There has been a miscarriage of justice, I’ve been stitched up by the legal system’.

Well, the more I went into their cases, the less likely I was to believe their story. However, I did spend months going back and forth, debating their cases, reading the evidence and wondering if it was my ‘critical mind’ in overdrive…

The people I spoke with on death row were polite, friendly, highly charming, convincing and on the face of it, appeared normal. My work in mental health has since proven, a genuine psychopath does appear normal - and that is the concern!

It was like living in la la land! Here I was, reading the evidence of their convictions. The most horrific crimes imaginable, often involving children - usually their own, that had been subjected to abuse and ultimately murdered. They often then went on to murder other people, in highly contrived, extensive and calculated plans. Plans so extreme and disgusting a normal human mind wouldn’t even be able to come up with them.

Then you talk to the author of these horrific crimes and they’re lovely!

Ultimately I came to a conclusion of bringing back the death penalty…

My work in mental health, truly means I understand how incredible rehabilitation can happen. People can turn their lives around from almost anything and we have to work from a non judgmental place… (I’ll be the first to admit I struggle with this, just because I work in an industry that is supposed to be ‘perfect’, doesn’t make me ‘perfect’, I am human. I have feelings and emotions like us all)

In my opinion, the minority of people are so far beyond any kind of help, they’re an extreme danger to society. It’s not that they don’t want to change, and it’s not that they have chosen the life they have found themselves in.

Their minds are so warped and criminal they don’t know or see anything else. They firmly believe they are innocent, the lies and nonsense they tell themselves is entirely true.

When I looked into the miscarriages of justice for people who had been exonerated from death row, they were majority historical crimes. Years before DNA revolutions, before the raising of education levels in the justice system and quite frankly, the same miscarriages of justice don’t happen any more.

Our legal system is exemplary and more robust now. Mistakes can and do still happen, but not for the most extreme cases that would be considerable candidates for the death penalty.

Myra Hindley, Ian Brady, Michael Adebowale, Harold Shipman, Peter Sutcliffe… murderers in my opinion that should have been sentenced to death.

There is a certain type of person we will never be able to rehabilitate. The evidence is indisputable and there will never be a miscarriage of justice, as far as these cases are concerned.

The bar for implementing the death penalty should be exceptionally high, but it should still be an option!

Why do we continue to waste tax payers money keeping these people alive? We may take away their freedom, but we also take care of their bills, provide them with food, housing, medical care and pay extortionate amounts in protecting them with security.

They planned, calculated and firmly knew what they were doing when they carried out their horrific crimes. To spend the rest of their years being taken care of by the state in a half decent ‘hotel’ is not a ‘punishment’ that fits the severity of their actions.

The government brought in new Covid-19 laws with the drop of a hat in 2020. So, for the month of October 2021, let’s bring back the death penalty and start with Wayne Couzens and give Sarah Everard the justice she deserves. Thank you!