Earlier this week on the Today Show capital punishment was being debated.
The first thought that entered my mind was really? Is this still being debated?
For many, the fact that people in England were being hanged as recently as 1964 is a shameful one – a shocking and dark reminder of a less civilised past.
But over in Daily Mail land, the opposite is true. According to the vast majority of readers’ comments (an interesting, albeit depressing read, if you’re feeling brave) every paedophile and re-offending criminal is proof of why we need to get tough on crime and bring back the death penalty to right society’s ills. Forget about the evidence that suggests the death penalty proves no greater a deterrent than sentencing. Forget about the moral question of whether society bears some responsibility for its criminals. And forget about the issue of wrongful death penalties, because in Daily Mail land these issues don’t even make for footnotes.
The story of the postmaster’s son who was murdered by three “career criminals” may as well have been a call to arms for all those who feel the justice system is too soft. And if the story was a call to arms, the reader feedback proved it was a unanimous success.
The reader feedback might seem shocking if it wasn’t already clear how many people were in favour of the death penalty. A Sun survey in 2008 had a 99% vote for reintroducing the death penalty