Ex-minister calls for reintroduction of death penalty to tackle rise in violent crime in Britain
The government, however, has dismissed the request, saying that it continues to remain opposed to the death penalty as a form of punishment across the world.
An MP in the UK is reportedly seeking a reintroduction of the death penalty into the country's legislature in an effort to combat the increasing number of violent crimes in the country. Reports state that Lincolnshire MP John Hayes, in a letter to Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke asked him if "he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to reintroduce the death penalty to tackle violent crime".
The Office for National Statistics released its latest crime figures last month for England and Wales for the year to June 2018. According to the report, there was a significant increase in violent crimes involving knives or a sharp instrument. The overall violent crime numbers, however, remained largely unchanged at 1.275 million offenses.
Hayes, while talking to Leicestershire Live, said that the increase in violent crimes in the most prominent regions shows that there is a need for the death penalty to be reintroduced as a more fitting punishment for grave crimes.
Tory MP asks government to consider bringing back death penalty https://t.co/vbZupZOeJF— The Independent (@Independent) November 3, 2018
"We have had a number of serious crimes, the murder rates increases and barely a week goes by without hearing about some horrific child murder or old people being attacked and killed. Many of my constituents say that's partly because we don't respond appropriately. It seems to me there really needs to be a fitting punishment," the Tory MP for South Holland and the Deepings said, according to Express UK.
"I say capital punishment should be a sentence available to the courts but the death penalty should not be mandatory - that's always been my position. If you look at the Westminster Bridge attacker, he was shot in cold-blood after someone had taken a proper decision to stop him. If he had survived I think most of the British public would have been OK if he had received a fair trial and been hanged - most people would deem that appropriate," the MP continued.
"Fred West and Harold Shipman killed themselves and it was almost as if they knew that was the right thing for them to do. I did not table a motion, I simply raised it as a question," he added.
The government, however, has dismissed the request, saying that it continues to remain opposed to the death penalty as a form of punishment across the world. The UK government reportedly abolished the death penalty in 1965.
Under Secretary for Justice Edward Argar released a statement, saying that there is no evidence provided which states that bringing back the death penalty would deter criminals from committing violent crimes. Argar also said that reintroduction of capital punishment would also increase the risk of innocent people dying.
"The Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and has no plans to reintroduce it. We are also actively advocating for the global abolition of the death penalty. This includes meeting with foreign delegations, who have the death penalty, to set out our alternative sentencing framework," he said.