10 2 mins 14 yrs

As regular readers will know, we have been running a poll on the topic of the Death Penalty. I asked the question “Do you support the Death Penalty for certain crimes such as mass murder” and I’m closing the poll today. Those who support the motion are shown as red dots on the map, whilst those who oppose it are shown as green dots! The answer to the question on ATW is a resounding “YES”, with around 70% supporting the use of the death penalty in these special circumstances.

What intrigued me most was the way this issue is viewed either side of the Atlantic. Looking at the maps which show who voted where, I see a sea of red Stateside, with around 90% supporting the death penalty. Perhaps this is not a big surprise since the US does still  use this penalty and it appears to meet with the approval of the vast majority of Americans who visit ATW, at the very least. But when I look at mainland Europe, I see a tide of green, indicating opposition to the use of the Death Penalty. It’s clear Europeans are not interested in this sanction, which is perhaps not that surprising either given the history of secular post WW2 Euroland. Looking at the UK, I note that opinion seems split about 50:50 whereas in Ireland, it reflects continental European values in opposing this sanction.

I know that polls must all be treated with suspicion but the difference in outlook on this important issue is marked between the US and Europe, and with several hundred votes now in, I thought you might be interested in the detail!

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  1. I’m one of the green ones. My objection to the death penality isn’t a moral one, I have no problem with executing serial (or mass) murderers and rapists, but a practical one: I don’t trust government with the power to deliver my mail, I sure as hell don’t trust it with the power of life and death. In addition, I would only support it in cases where there is zero doubt. Such cases are so rare that it would be so rarely employed that it’s not much of an issue.

  2. As one of the red ones, i sat for forty minutes last night watching the verdict of a live case in florida
    on Fox news.
    john covey was accused and found guilty of the murder, kidnap and rape of Jessica Lunsford, aged 9.
    Before last night i had heard nothing about the case, within 5 minutes i was rooting for the death sentence.
    No shades of grey in this one, covey tried every trick in the book to get life (he was sentenced to life twice, for the kidnap and rape of a minor).
    For the murder (google for details, it’s inhuman) he was found guilty and sentenced to death. I breathed a sigh of relief, no way should this piece of garbage serve life.
    however, for those of a nervous disposition, the case is automatically referred for appeal to the state court, and he has further appeal possibilities after that. the average time on death row is 12 years. so these days in florida there are many protections against mistakes.

  3. I’m with CL on this. I don’t trust the judiciary nor the police to have this measure at their disposal. Note how PC they are. In a few years, they would want the death penalty for ‘hate crimes’, whatever those may evolve to be.

  4. Here in Texas, sometimes we have as many as one execution a week. I voted red, as I have no problem with executing a murderer, however like CL, I sometimes wonder about the system that controls it. I put my trust in 12 men and women good and true on the jury, and the appeals system.

  5. Alan, did you read in the BBC last week that the EU asked the Texas gov. to suspended the DP, and the governor responded "Texans are doing very well governing Texas."

  6. I missed that one alan. I was laughing about the terrorist named al-boom, until he hooks up with the American journo Foxey Redstate. Suddenly, the towel was on the other head!;)

  7. Charles,

    My wife said her favorite part of the piece was hearing Osama Saeed of the Muslim Association of Britain (he’s at 2:50 into the audio) because she thought he had a Northern Irish accent (I think it is really Scottish). I’m sure she didn’t understand a word, but she was painting a picture of what this guy would look like on the streets of Belfast. Something like Gerry Adams, I suppose.

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