Just recently, the newly appointed Conservative Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, Priti Patel, called for the return of the capital punishment in Britain.
Priti Patel claims that reintroduction of the capital punishment into the British Justice System would act as a crime deterrent, which is an extremely bizarre thing to say considering that United States practices capital punishment, yet continues having crime, from petty to the most heinous. Why do you reckon this is, Ms Patel?
Unfortunately, her views are not that uncommon. The newly re-elected conservative #Government of Britain, re-entered the political scene with guns
It is, thus, no surprise that the capital punishment found itself on the lips of some of the Britain’s political elite.
The consensus is (or so it was thought) that in Europe we administer justice, not revenge. Each state acts against those who defy its order, not as personal revenge tool of individuals. In Europe, most importantly, the states do not send a message of the wrongfulness of murder, but committing murder.
Essentially, Ms Patel is in favour of letting 12 citizens send a fellow citizen to death in a time when many the people do not comprehend the idea of what ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ means. In the case of the United States, and elsewhere, it is a widely held belief, especially among jurors, that their job is to decide whether they think someone is guilty or not.
It is almost unthinkable that in 2015, in the United Kingdom, there can be an official in the government who speaks of bringing back the capital punishment, while simultaneously speaking of a broken legal system, as if the capital punishment will fix everything.
If the legal system is broken, capital punishment will break it further while simultaneously undermining the rule of law in favour of revenge.
Of course, Ms Patel never brought up how she intends to eradicate the personal prejudices and biases among the jury in the capital punishment cases, nor the role the media might play in shaping the public and jury opinion, but these are probably not all that important to Ms Patel. What does appear to be important is that the government is ought to start putting citizens to death in order solve all its internal problems.
If Ms Patel wants to deter crime, she should start by campaigning to eliminate poverty in Britain, to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor and to invest in education.