Throughout U.K. history, the death penalty has been reserved almost entirely for the crimes committed by adult men. Fewer than 3 percent of the approximately 20,000 people executed under legal authority in the United Kingdom have been women, and fewer than 2 percent have been juveniles—that is (O'Neil, Patry and Penrod, 2004), individuals who committed their capital crimes before their 18th birthdays.
Most countries have abolished the death penalty. The United Kingdom retains the death penalty, although it has attempted to make executions more humane (O'Neil, Patry and Penrod, 2004). The law has restricted use of the death penalty based on the type of crime and the characteristics of the criminal. Psychologists and other social scientists have conducted research on issues such as whether the death penalty serves as a deterrent, what drives public support for capital punishment, how jurors decide whether to sentence a defendant to life in prison or death by execution, and the possibility of wrongful convictions and executions. This paper argues whether death penalty should be re-introduced in UK or not.
Should the Death Penalty Be Re-Introduced in UK?
Death penalty (or often referred as capital punishment) is "putting a condemned person to death. Many people associated America with capital punishment, as they are the only western society that still uses this form of punishment. However, they will not be alone if the UK decides to bring back the death sentence (Baird and Stuart, 1995).
Whether or not juveniles should be subjected to capital punishment has received more attention of late. In a recent Gallup poll, for example, 60 percent of Britons thought that when a teenager commits a murder and is found guilty by a jury, he (the survey item did not address female teenage killers) should get the death penalty (compared with 80 percent who favored the death penalty for adults) (Baird and Stuart, 1995). Thirty percent opposed the death penalty for teenagers, and 10 percent had no opinion. Among those who favored the death penalty for adults, 72 percent favored the death penalty for teenage killers. When asked whether juveniles convicted of their first crime should be given the same punishment as adults convicted of their first crime, 50 percent of Britons believed juveniles should be treated the same as adults, 40 percent believed they should be treated less harshly, 9 percent responded that it depends, and 1 percent had no opinion.
The death penalty has been commonplace in English history and has played a crucial role in our development as a society. The first ever hanging in the UK was in the 5th century by the Anglo-Saxon's who used it as a method of execution. Hanging in Britain happened until 13 July 1955 when Ruth Ellis became the last person to be executed in the UK. Many people in the UK believe that capital punishment is wrong and that people who commit the crime do not ...