MP Calls For Return Of Death Penalty To Tackle Violent Crime
An MP has written to the Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke "to ask if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to reintroduce the death penalty to tackle violent crime."
Lincolnshire MP John Hayes told Leicestershire Live that the rise in violent crime shows the death penalty should be reintroduced as it would be a more fitting punishment for criminals.
The Express reported that last month, the Office for National Statistics released its latest crime figures for England and Wales for the year to June 2018.
Despite violent crime remaining largely unchanged at 1.275 million offences, those involving knives or a sharp instrument rose 12 percent to 39,332 offences - the highest since comparable data began to be collected in April 2010.
Mr Hayes, the Tory MP for South Holland and the Deepings said: "We have had a number of serious crimes, the murder rates increases and barely a week goes by without hearing about some horrific child murder or old people being attacked and killed.
"Many of my constituents say that's partly because we don't respond appropriately. It seems to me there really needs to be a fitting punishment.
"I say capital punishment should be a sentence available to the courts but the death penalty should not be mandatory - that's always been my position.
He added: "If you look at the Westminster Bridge attacker, he was shot in cold blood after someone had taken a proper decision to stop him.
"If he had survived I think most of the British public would have been OK if he had received a fair trial and been hanged - most people would deem that appropriate.
"Fred West and Harold Shipman killed themselves and it was almost as if they knew that was the right thing for them to do. I did not table a motion, I simply raised it as a question."
But the Government has dismissed the request, saying that it remains opposed to the death penalty and has no plans to reintroduce it.
Under Secretary for Justice Edward Argar said that there is no evidence that bringing back the death penalty would deter criminals, warning that it would 'bring with it the very real risk that some innocent people would die'.
He wrote: "The Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and has no plans to reintroduce it.
"We are also actively advocating for the global abolition of the death penalty.
"This includes meeting with foreign delegations, who have the death penalty, to set out our alternative sentencing framework."
Mr Argar added: "There is no evidence that capital punishment acts as a deterrent to violent crime.
"Furthermore, the reintroduction of the death penalty would bring with it the very real risk that some innocent people would die."
Featured Image Credit: PA