Saturday, 2 January 2010

The problem with capital punishment

A few days ago the British man Akmal Shaikh was executed by the Chinese. There were many calls for clemency. They said that he was a sick man and his illness should be taken into account. They also said that the Chinese should show compassion for a man who was mentally ill. Now I don't know how ill this man was. The Chinese version is that he had 'no previous medical record' and the British version is that he suffered from a bipolar disorder. I don 't know any details about his crime. However I do know that it is much easier to show records than it is the absence of records so the defence should have had an easy job. All the British opinions have been united against the execution.

Was he criminally guilty of smuggling four kilos of heroin into China? The Chinese say so but I don't hear any British voices saying the same thing. If this is the case then what Britain is saying is that we don't trust China's judicial system. This is quite an insult and then Gordon Brown showed his anger by calling the Chinese premier.

I am sorry to read about Mr Shaikh's execution. I believe that we should be more civilised in our punishments. I don't think that our judicial system is perfect and I guess the Chinese version could improve but I hope this is a lesson to those who would call for a return to capital punishment in this country

Change the world


  1. Please review:

    Death Penalty: Innocence and Deterrence
    Dudley Sharp, contact below

    The 130 (now 139) death row "innocents" scam

    "The Innocent Executed: Deception & Death Penalty Opponents"

    "The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents"

    "Cameron Todd Willingham: Another Media Meltdown", A Collection of Articles

    "Sister Helen Prejean & the death penalty: A Critical Review"

    "At the Death House Door" Can Rev. Carroll Pickett be trusted?"

    "The Exonerated: Are Any Actually Innocent?"

    "A Death Penalty Red Herring: The Inanity and Hypocrisy of Perfection", Lester Jackson Ph.D.,

    23 recent deterrence studies finding for deterrence, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation,

    "Deterrence and the Death Penalty: A Reply to Radelet and Lacock"

    "Death Penalty, Deterrence & Murder Rates: Let's be clear"

    Sincerely, Dudley Sharp
    e-mail, 713-622-5491,
    Houston, Texas

    Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

    A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

    Pro death penalty sites

    essays (Sweden)

  2. Some people may be pro-death penalty but I don't think long lists of articles help carry the debate forward. It just gets confusing or more likely, unread. Secondly I don't think statistics help support any moral argument. Thirdly, if you follow the articles to reach a moral conclusion you will have to overcome some leaps of faith.

    Take for example the anti-death penalty film Dead Man Walking. In the article written about the nun Helen Prejean it seems that we should support the death penalty. Logic has been twisted. We are supposed to believe that Sister Helen, who has dedicated herself to upholding the sanctity of life actually means the opposite. It is like saying the parable of the Good Samaritan is pro-mugging because the Samaritan would never have had the chance to be good without the mugging.

    Read the articles by all means but also read the responses just in case you think there is a logic in them.