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LOOKING THROUGH GARY GILMORE’S EYES…..

By ATWadmin On January 18th, 2007

adverts.jpgFascinating to think that 30 years have now passed since self-confessed murderer Gary Gilmore was strapped to a chair before a firing squad and uttered his famous last words: "Let’s do it."

The controversial execution that marked the reinstatement of the death penalty in the United States. (I remember buying a single by a punk band called The Adverts entitled "Gary Gimore’s eyes" – their finest moment, btw) I see that Amnesty International are jumping up and down about this anniversary – they naturally oppose justice being carried out.

I remain firmly IN FAVOUR of the death penalty, and in that regards I am joined by a majority of people here in the UK. But our political leaders have opted out of reflecting our will that this wish be implemented. My basis for this is both Biblical and practical. Dead murderers tend not to re-offend, I’ve noticed. The Bible also instructs us to ensure that those who knowingly take life, forfeit their life. The sooner we leave the EU, and assert the will of the British people to put to death mass murderers, terrorists, paedophile killers and the like, the better.

63 Responses to “LOOKING THROUGH GARY GILMORE’S EYES…..”

  1. It comes back to the age old question of how sure we can be someone has committed the crime. With inevitable corruption (in all countries) in the police and judiciary, as well as the difficulties of reconstructing what happened from often very little evidence, killing someone we say is guilty seems an exceptionally arrogant appraisal of our ability to determine the culprit.
    On the other hand, if someone confesses they are guilty that opens up a whole other debate…

  2. >>Dead murderers tend not to re-offend, I’ve noticed. <<

    Neither do dead robbers, I’ve noticed. So why stop with murderers?

  3. I prefer to keep robbers locked up. But those who knowngly take life, forfeit their life.

  4. I don’t agree with the death penalty, but the selectiveness of Amnesty’s protests, and their lack of protest when leftist Governments and Islamic nutjobs are doing the murder, torture, maiming, brutalising and censoring human rigths reveals that far from being an advacate of Human Rights, Amnesty International is now and active participant in intentaional terror.

    The Propaganda it provides directly encourages the most vile acts of human depravity on others.

  5. David,

    Do a majority of people in the UK support the death penalty? Have there been polls done?

    I know that in the Republic, the people voted in a referendum to alter the Constitution to prevent any laws being made to reintroduce capital punishment.

    I would have thought public opinion in the UK would have been similar.

  6. REG

    I doubt it, populist opinion in the UK has always supported the return of the death penalty but politicians are right to have resisted those calls.

    I am a bit surprised at the Irish constitutional vote you mention on stopping any return of the death penalty. Was it really as clear cut a vote as that rather than just a procedural ratification of an EU treaty that included an anti death penalty clause which wasn’t at the forefront of that particular campaign.

  7. David: One of the grave problems with the death penalty is that once applied, it can not be reversed. The county of Dallas in Texas has had 12 convicted felons cleared by DNA evidence since 2001.

  8. Colm, the proposed article putting the prohibition of the death penalty into the constitution (21st amendment) was put to referendum in 2001 along with the 23rd (recognition of the International Criminal Court) and 24th (ratification of the Nice Teaty) amendment.

    The 21st was passed by about 62%. The 23rd was also passed, but the 24th (Nice) was rejected.

  9. Reg,

    Yeah – successive polls show a majority in favour.

    Mahons,

    Take your point. But with checks and balances, and for a self-confessed killers, why not?

  10. David: There just are not enough checks and balances to assure what is needed – namely a fault free process. As for self-confessed killers, it is rare but frequent enough to know that confessions are sometimes flawed if not outright false.

  11. I’m with you, DV. The D.P. is a just sentence for the most serious categories of crime. Of course the odd mistake will always be made wherever human beings are involved in a system, there’s no way there’s ever going to be a "fault-free" system. But what with DNA, we now have the means to ensure that mistakes are million to one occurrences.

  12. Exactly, it’s strange that people still need reminding that the Guilford 4 were all "self-confessed killers". Paul Hill was sentenced to around 400 years in prison, the longest prison term ever handed down by a British court, I believe. The judge at the time said he would have liked to pass a death sentence.

    16 years later Hill and his 3 co-defendants were released and their sentences quashed. All were innocent of the crimes.

  13. Cunningham

    Thanks for the info. I’m still a bit surprised because generally speak in most countries the population do tend to be in favour of the death penalty at least for murderers.

  14. My "exactly" was of course for mahons, not Tom.

    Let’s hope the next "mistake" is that they hang someone like you, Tom. I’m sure you wouldn’t object.

  15. Cunningham,

    That’s not a very nice comment. Watch it.

  16. Tom: The statistics just do not support you on the level of mistakes made by the Court system. While it is true that the overwhelming number of those found guilty are in fact guilty (and who would want to live in a society where the overwhelming number were not) there exisits a historical record of error that makes an irrevocable punishment unjust.

  17. Historically, yes, Mahons, there is a record of errors. But I’m saying now that we have DNA testing. If we make it a condition that a DNA match must be established, in order for a judge to consider the DP, then that swings the balance a million to one against the wrong guy being executed.

  18. >>generally speak in most countries the population do tend to be in favour of the death penalty at least for murderers.<<

    I would say most people in West Euopean countries are against the DP, especialy in the north, less so in the south.
    It was said by many at the time that the number against the DP in the Irish referendum would have been higher – in line with surveys – if the question was formulated more clearly. As it was, many reportedly voted NO thinking they were saying No to the DP, whereas they were voting against including the prohibition in the constitution!

  19. >>That’s not a very nice comment. Watch it.<<

    David, Tom said he was in favour of re-introducing the DP even though "he odd mistake will always be made", as he said himself, i.e. that an innocent man will be executed by mistake.

    I think nobody should consider it unfair that if an innocent man has to be hanged by mistake, it would be only right if it were one who wanted to see the DP even in the face of such risks.

  20. = "THE odd mistake will always be made",

  21. Mahons,

    In what area of human endeavour or activity can we ensure no errors?

  22. I don’t think Cunningham’scomment was meant in a personally insulting way that would merit the rebuke David gave. He was just saying that those who favour the death penalty and casually dismiss the inncent executed as ‘mistakes happen’ wouldn’t adopt such a cavalier attitude if it was themsleves facing death through a miscarraige of justice or indeed one of their loved ones. He wasn’t maliciously calling for Tom to be killed.

  23. David: Absolutely none. But when we make a mistake and send a man to prison for life, we have the opportunity to release him and return him to his family. When we execute a man by mistake, we do not have that option. That is the problem.

  24. "In what area of human endeavour or activity can we ensure no errors? "

    Answer – Any endeavour where people follow Colm’s advice 🙂

  25. I didn’t take Cunningham’s remark personally. But having explained it, I fail to see its relevance. If an innocent person is about to be hanged, his/her personal opinions on the DP should be of no relevance. What should mmatter is that the trial should be conducted fairly and all the evidence weighed seriously, and that the jury should be satisfied as far as possible that the defendant was guilty. If I was that defendant, and I was thusly satisfied, even though I knew I was innocent and that the verdict was mistaken, then even though I’d be horrified to know I would hang, I would have to accept that the intentions of the judge/jury etc were honourable.

  26. Yes but Tom at that moment when you are about to face execution would you still be opposed to any imminent plans by the relevent administration to abolish the death penalty – with immediate effect.

  27. My immediate thought would be to say No, I would of course welcome such plans. But wait, what I’m being asked is would I put my own selfish interests before my principles. Would I elect to save my own skin, while being of the opinion that the DP would save the skins of many more potential victims of crime if continued?
    The ultimate moral challenge! And knowing myself to be a weak person, I cannot say for sure what my answer would be in that situation. I hope I’d have the courage to be principled.

  28. Tom: I think you were right in accepting Cunningham’s comment as Gallows Humor. He clearly wasn’t calling for you to be hanged (a fate I presume he reserves for the doctor who was credited for bringing George Bush into the world and me when I opposed legalized prostitution).
    I think you are a tad detached in thinking one would accept the mistaken capital decision so gracefully. Trials that only involve incarceration are harrowing. Trials that could involve an innocnet man’s death are a nightmare. Even if you got a fair judge and jury, was the evidence gathered against you done fairly by the police? Was your lawyer competent? Moreover, wouldn’t you be troubled that a guilty person was still wandering free?

  29. Michael Buerk, in his autobiography, speaks about sitting through the trial of the Guilford four. Come the end of it, he was so sure they were guilty, and so rightly angry at the bombing, which he had experienced first hand, that he felt himself baying for them to be executed. Yet they were innocent. He cites it as an example of how a journalist should try to detach themselves from the story and always report both sides, no matter what the public mood.
    It’s very easy to sit here and call for the death penalty, but which of you are going to volunteer to open the trapdoor on an innocent man? How much money does someone need to be paid to have that on their conscience?

  30. Tom

    I hardly think an innocent man wanting to avoid being killed is a selfish interest, but I accept it would be an astonishingly brave person who would rather die than see the abolition of a penalty he had always principally approved of.

  31. Colm: It calls to mind WC Fields comment upon hearing of a man who drowned in a barrel of whiskey – "Death Where is Thy Sting".

    However, While one may be willing to risk his life on such a proposition, but no one has the right to risk the lives of others on that proposition.

  32. Precisely, Mahons. Only difference is, to me the word "others" means primarily, the potential victims of murderers.

  33. Tom – two of the scariest words ever written – "Precisely Mahons". That being said, there is inconclusive evidence that the death penalty really serves to deter, and zero evidence that thaose opposed to it are unconcerned with the vitims of crime.

  34. Bloody hell, here we go with the Famous Four again. The police made it quite clear they had no intentions of looking for the ‘real’ murderers who should have been convicted in place of the supposedly innocent Guildford Four…when those bastards were released you could’ve got four guys who walked into the House of Commons and macheted the entire sorry bunch live on National TV released as long as they were IRA men. It was a despicable period for so-called British justice which unfortunately set the tone for things to come when it came to dealing with the IRA.

  35. If the death penalty were available to the leftist establishment, they would use it for ‘crimes’ such as membership of the BNP, ‘denial’ of global warming, ‘racist’ thoughts etc. The left use the death penalty freely and easily – Cuba, Soviet Union, China. The only reason why the leftist establishment in the west doesn’t apparently support the death penalty is because they would have been executed en masse because of their complicity and collaboration in the Holocaust – can’t have that, can we?

  36. Allan – There is no evidence to support your first sentence. Your second sentence that the deth penalty is used by such regimes as Cuba, former Soviet Union and China is really an argument against the use of the death penalty. As for the last sentence it defies logic. The Holocaust was brought about by a far rightwing Nazis party.

    Do you ever entertain sane thoughts?

  37. Allan is proof that, as desperate as the lowland Scots were for settlers for Ulster back in 1605, they did actually have some kind of screening process.

    (‘Tho how did NRG get past it?)

  38. Cunningham: Best line of the day (although Allan may not agree with my conclusion). NRG clearly stowed away in Mad’s luggage.

  39. Allan’s comment has to be one of the most bizarre and ludicrous ever here on ATW. Well done Allan.

  40. Now, now, I think Allan’s 2nd sentence has merit. I think he means that if AI wants to protest the death penalty why don’t they go to places that practice it par excellance. Instead with Castro’s Cuba, the left wing from Hollywod go there hat in hand to do the dictator hommage. Che is also lauded even though he was a murdering thug.

  41. Charles – (1) who or what is AI? (2) opposition to the death penalty is not a far left position, even in (sorry) Texas.

  42. >>why don’t they go to places that practice it par excellance.<<

    I thought a.i. was already in the States!

  43. Charles – that sorry was an apology for referring to Texas not my thought on its condition.

  44. Amnisty International.Opposition to the death penalty in Texas?? You mean, like, not killin’em and everything? All this is Greek to me. Not killin’em?

  45. "Allan’s comment has to be one of the most bizarre and ludicrous ever here on ATW"

    That’s not even the most bizarre and ludicrous comment from Allan!

  46. David,

    "In what area of human endeavour or activity can we ensure no errors?"

    We can ensure no errors in applying the death penalty if we don’t have it.

  47. Charles – I think Amnesty to its credit does protest the death penalty in those particular countries and accounts for much of what is broadcast about the practices there.

  48. It was less than a month ago that I read of one of the ‘green’ fruitcakes who drifts round Congress demanding "Nuremburg-type trials" for the CEOs of the major oil companies. I’ll assume that those who read this site know the penalty for guilt at Nuremburg.

    Mahons wrote:
    "Your second sentence that the deth(sic) penalty is used by such regimes as Cuba, former Soviet Union and China is really an argument against the use of the death penalty."

    Indeed, which is why I wrote it! Can anyone see anything in my previous post which indicates support for the death penalty?

    And as for the swift conversion of the post-war leftist elite towards the abolition of the death penalty-

    http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2006/12/the_death_penal.html#comments

    "As Ingo Muller’s Hitler’s Justice points out, genuine resistance to Nazism among the German judicary was virtually non-existent. He only credits one judge, a member of the Confessing Church, with real opposition. And the occupation led to a similar pattern across Europe. Whether the dates were 1933-1945 (Germany) or 1940–1944 (continental Europe), if you wanted to be successful at high levels in the government or the press, you cooperated with Nazi genocide and terror. Your hands were bloody to a far greater extent than the average citizen. It was probably the 1980s before such people began to leave positions of power and by then the pattern was set. Executing murderers is grounds for executing people like them. They can’t let that be morally acceptable, hence their rigid dogmatism."

  49. Allan: you ask "Can anyone see anything in my previous post which indicates support for the death penalty?"

    I suppose not. But the post itself should generate support for mandatory confinement of the criminally insane.

  50. "Your second sentence that the deth(sic) penalty is used by such regimes as Cuba, former Soviet Union and China is really an argument against the use of the death penalty."

    Indeed, which is why I wrote it!

    Poor Allan. The former soviet union also used cars, telephones, spies, a military, electricity, nuclear deterrents, cameras, mathematics, shoes, words and much else. Is that an argument for getting rid of those too? For most people no, but with Allan it pays to check.

  51. Mahons – try and focus on the points put and then attempt to refute each of them. That’s what this site is for.

    As for "criminally insane"?!? Do you consider anyone who argues with you to be criminally insane? Please explain what you meant by:
    "I suppose not. But the post itself should generate support for mandatory confinement of the criminally insane."

  52. >>ift conversion of the post-war leftist elite toward<<

    Allan, if you think – as your comment suggests but one can never be sure with your comments – that the German judicary or government were peopled by leftists after WW2 and that for this reason they abolished the death penalty, you really are insane.

    For many reasons. Just one of which is that the first "leftist" govt in Germany post-war was over 20 years after the war ended; and that was headed by Willy Brandt, who was a firm anti-Nazi and had actually fought with the Norwegian resistance against his own countrymen.

  53. Allan

    "Mahons – try and focus on the points put and then attempt to refute each of them."

    Why should he do that again when he did it at 9.42?

  54. Poor Allan. The former soviet union also used cars, telephones, spies, a military, electricity, nuclear deterrents, cameras, mathematics, shoes, words and much else. Is that an argument for getting rid of those too? For most people no, but with Allan it pays to check.

    Frank, what are you talking about?

    Cunningham – visit the link. You’ll read Germans who advocate that point more succinctly than I would/could. But it isn’t specifically Germany which is the country in question: apart from Denmark, Jews were denounced and rounded-up by the general population and ‘processed’ by the authorities indigenous to each occupied country. Only the very top Nazis were tried and executed – all the little helpers in all of the countries unfortunate enough to have been occupied did not answer for their part. Naturally enough, such people did not want the fate of the top nazis to be theirs, so the death penalty had to be discredited, then abolished.
    In the US, there was no such bitter history, and so no supplementary drive to remove the death penalty other than the pros and cons typically argued in contributions above.

  55. Allan

    "Mahons – try and focus on the points put and then attempt to refute each of them."

    Why should he do that again when he did it at 9.42?
    Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 11:47PM | Frank O’Dwyer

    Only in your wee world, Frank.

  56. Allan: I don’t consider people who have the terrible bad taste to disagree with me as criminally insane. It was a jab at your ridiculous comment. Only someone with deep disturbing problems would write what you wrote. Does that explain it better?

  57. I wrote:

    If the death penalty were available to the leftist establishment, they would use it for ‘crimes’ such as membership of the BNP, ‘denial’ of global warming, ‘racist’ thoughts etc. The left use the death penalty freely and easily – Cuba, Soviet Union, China. The only reason why the leftist establishment in the west doesn’t apparently support the death penalty is because they would have been executed en masse because of their complicity and collaboration in the Holocaust – can’t have that, can we?
    Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 09:30PM | Allan@Aberdeen

    and I backed it up with a post at 11.03.

    So far, Mahons has been unwilling or unable to refute anything in the post of 11.03 but he doesn’t have a problem giving medical and psychiatric opinions.

    On the matter of "Nuremberg-type trials for CEOs of the leading oil companies", here’s the link:

    http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=264568

    I have noticed that, for the left, today’s lunacy becomes tomorrow’s policy and I have little doubt that "Nuremberg-type trials" invoking presumably Nuremberg-type penalties will become the policy of an increasingly-vocal section of the left. That is one reason why I don’t want the death penalty on the statute books.

    And as for the swift conversion of the post-war leftist elite towards the abolition of the death penalty-

    http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2006/12/the_death_penal.html#comments

    "As Ingo Muller’s Hitler’s Justice points out, genuine resistance to Nazism among the German judicary was virtually non-existent. He only credits one judge, a member of the Confessing Church, with real opposition. And the occupation led to a similar pattern across Europe. Whether the dates were 1933-1945 (Germany) or 1940–1944 (continental Europe), if you wanted to be successful at high levels in the government or the press, you cooperated with Nazi genocide and terror. Your hands were bloody to a far greater extent than the average citizen. It was probably the 1980s before such people began to leave positions of power and by then the pattern was set. Executing murderers is grounds for executing people like them. They can’t let that be morally acceptable, hence their rigid dogmatism."

    Jews were denounced and rounded-up by the general population and ‘processed’ by the authorities indigenous to each occupied country. Only the very top Nazis were tried and executed – all the little helpers in all of the countries unfortunate enough to have been occupied did not answer for their part. Naturally enough, such people did not want the fate of the top nazis to be theirs, so the death penalty had to be discredited, then abolished.
    In the US, there was no such bitter history, and so no supplementary drive to remove the death penalty other than the pros and cons typically argued in contributions above.

    Now, Mahons, please,please try and discuss the text and references above.

  58. Alan: I don’t think you "backed up" your ludicrous original comment. I think your further comments were manifestations of what I originally wrote about. What we call over here stone cold crazy.

    However, I wasn’t trying to offer an actual medical opinion. I am not qualified. Rather I was offering a retort, quip, barb or wisecrack as to the mental condition of one who could write what you wrote. I hereby affirm that it was not intended to be and should not be utilized as an actual psychiatric diagnosis. Do not print it out and attempt to obtain medication from your Chemist. Do not use it to challenge your therapist. Do not cite it during discussions with your anger management class. And by all means do not rely upon it at your committal hearing in Court.

  59. Mahons – what do you think of the recently expressed opinion by an ‘environmentalist’ that CEOs of major oil companies should face "Nuremberg-type trials"?

    What do you think should be done with anyone who votes BNP? Should they receive a bullet in the back of the head?

  60. Allan – I find such a comment to be juvenile.

    As for the BNP, I do not believe that anyone who votes for them deserves a bullet to the back of the head. Of course, anyone who votes for them probably would not face any real damage in such a scenario.

  61. Mahons – both the instances cited were expressed as opinion from committed leftists. The first case has been linked – bet you haven’t even bothered to look – and the second was an utterance from one Jeremy Hardy, a ‘comedian’, on Radio 4. That’s why I wrote:

    If the death penalty were available to the leftist establishment, they would use it for ‘crimes’ such as membership of the BNP, ‘denial’ of global warming, ‘racist’ thoughts etc. The left use the death penalty freely and easily – Cuba, Soviet Union, China. The only reason why the leftist establishment in the west doesn’t apparently support the death penalty is because they would have been executed en masse because of their complicity and collaboration in the Holocaust – can’t have that, can we?

    http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2006/12/the_death_penal.html#comments

  62. Allan – the left have their share of lunatics. The right has not monopoly on the insane. When someone who happens to be a leftist utters a silly statement, it doesn’t mean that all or even most leftists agree. The same as if someone on the right makes a silly statement, it doesn’t mean that all or even most right wing folks support it.

    What you want to do is take an extreme statement and pretend it is a mainstream thought. You have company in the blogging world on that tactic, but it doesn’t make it true.

  63. >>Do not print it out and attempt to obtain medication from your Chemist<< (5:49)

    >>Of course, anyone who votes for them probably would not face any real damage in such a scenario<< (6:16)

    ROFL, Getting better by the day!