Gareth from the Office: An eye for an eye

Prison

Prison

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EVERY day we’re subjected to reports on all manner of subjects in the national and local press.

Some make me laugh, others make me think, but some just make me plain sick.

Gareth Ellis

Gareth Ellis

Undoubtedly murders are sickening enough but stories involving sexual assaults, on women or children, are just a step too far, unforgiveable.

Thankfully such stories locally are few and far between and while the tabloids’ treatment of these is often sensationalised, I’m glad to say local journalists take a more impartial view.

But increasingly I am convinced we don’t need to put up with the worst kind of sickening behaviour in our society. When the subject is debated in the office I always come to the same conclusion, perpetrators of the worst heinous crimes don’t deserve to live.

Now I’m not talking about the people who steal from a shop, or speed in their cars. I’m talking about rapists, murderers and paedophiles.

Of course some may argue prison is punishment enough and that offenders should have to suffer for as many years as their sentence dictates, but I don’t think so.

If we are to believe ex-prisoners those who have sexually assaulted a woman or a child may be subjected to harsher treatment but for the most part prison is not enough of a deterrent and life sentences are often cut.

Conversely others may argue that the death penalty is a violation of two fundamental human rights, as laid down in Articles 3 and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But does anyone know what they are? They are the right to life, and the right not to be tortured or subject to any cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

But surely people give up that right when they deprive someone else of life or subject them to extreme violence. A life ruined.

In today’s society we can prove a person’s guilt with the smallest margin for error thanks to DNA technology. It can take fingerprints, fibres from clothing and a number of other key elements to link someone to a crime.

In those cases, where there is absolutely no doubt of someone’s guilt, the death penalty should be brought back. Our taxes should not be spent on keeping people in prison when they don’t deserve to live.

Put it in perspective. Think of a child you may know. They may be a brother or sister, a godchild or a friend’s son or daughter. Now imagine someone committed a heinous crime against them or has maybe even taken their life.

How would you feel – even if you could forgive....?