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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bring back capital punishment to UK!

Death penalty: Your verdict


Published: 25 Feb 2008

ALMOST 100,000 Sun readers unite today to call for the return of the death penalty.

Monster Mark Dixie, Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright and the teenage killers of hero dad Garry Newlove have sickened the nation in recent weeks as details emerged of their vile crimes.

All received jail sentences. But as the clamour grew for the return of capital punishment, The Sun on Saturday dared to ask the burning question: “Do we really want it back?”

And a staggering 99 per cent of the 95,000 readers who responded to our You The Jury poll said the Government SHOULD reintroduce it.

Their mood was summed up by dad-of-four Brian Steede, who said in Brighton, Sussex: “Why should taxpayers pay for the likes of Wright and Dixie to live in prison?

“They took away their victims’ human rights and gave up theirs when they committed their hideous crimes. Bring back hanging, I say.”

Our readers’ views were backed by many of the families whose lives have been cruelly torn apart by killers now serving time behind bars.

And they were supported by senior political figures including Shadow Home Secretary David Davis and some religious leaders.

But others – including Sara Payne, whose daughter Sarah died at the hands of paedophile Roy Whiting – remain firmly AGAINST the return of capital punishment, permanently abolished in Britain for murder in 1969.

Garry Newlove, 47, was beaten to death by thugs he confronted outside his Warrington house last year.

Swaggering killers Adam Swellings, 19, Stephen Sorton, 17, and Jordan Cunliffe, 16, showed no remorse when sentenced at Chester Crown Court. Swellings will serve a minimum 17 years, Sorton at least 15 and Cunliffe at least 12.

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Yes ... says Helen Newlove

But widow Helen Newlove, 45, called for the ultimate punishment.

She said: “For many, the death penalty is murder by another name – a chilling relic from an uncivilised past.

“Yes, the thought of bringing it back may be unpalatable. But the horrifying events of the past week have strengthened my conviction that the hangman is the answer.

“It’s not about revenge. It’s about a just society imposing a fitting punishment for those who have committed a uniquely horrifying crime.”

Yes ... says Richard Taylor

Helen’s opinion was mirrored by Richard Taylor, dad of ten-year-old schoolboy Damilola – stabbed to death by Danny and Ricky Preddie in Peckham, South London, in 2000.

The lawless savages, then 18 and 19, were convicted of manslaughter in 2006 and jailed for eight years.

But ex-civil servant Richard, 59, said: “Is it right that the killers of our beautiful son will be released next year after only serving three years in prison? Of course it isn’t.

“The death penalty has to be brought back because it is the only deterrent available. It won’t bring my son back, but how many would commit these awful murders if they knew the gallows or a lethal injection was waiting? Few, I suspect.”

Chef Dixie, 37, received a life term last Friday for stabbing to death 18-year-old Sally Anne Bowman – and having sex with her corpse.

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Yes ... says LInda Bowman

Her mum Linda Bowman, 45, said: “Men like Dixie are like a dog.

“Once they draw blood they should be put down. I wish this was America and we had the lethal injection.”

Strangler Wright, 49, killed five women working as hookers in Ipswich.

Kerry Nicol, 38, whose 19-year-old daughter Tania was his first victim, said of his life sentence: “In no way has justice been done. These crimes deserve the ultimate punishment. The public must insist this Government look at returning the death penalty for cases such as this.”

Isabella Clennell, the mother of Wright’s last victim Paula, 24, said: “I wish we still had the death penalty. This is what he truly deserves.”

Even Wright’s only son said his father should be put to death.

Builder Mike Wright was stunned to learn of his dad’s crimes. He told The Sun: “My father took those girls’ lives. They should take his as well.”

Mike, 27 – abandoned at just two years old by his evil dad in Milford Haven, West Wales – added: “They don’t have hanging now, but if they did he should hang. What gives him the right to take a person’s life?

“I’d like to think he’s not guilty – but if he is he should get everything that’s coming to him.

“As it is I am glad that he has been put away for ever.”

The mother of little James Bulger, killed by ten-year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables in 1993, also backed the return of the rope.

Denise Fergus, 38, claimed the rash of recent cases prove the point.

She said: “Beasts like them don’t deserve to breathe the same air as decent people – they should hang.

“The law must be brought up to date to take account of DNA tests. In cases with no scientific doubt, there’s no chance of hanging a wrong man.” The mum of Moors murder victim Keith Bennett said all serial killers should receive the death penalty.

Heartbroken Winnie Johnson, 74, lost her 12-year-old in 1964 when evil Ian Brady and Myra Hindley lured him to his death on Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester.

Winnie said: “Monsters like Brady and now this sick Steve Wright creature do not deserve life, or our pity.

“We should stop thinking about what’s best for people who murder our women and children. They’ll never change however long they are caged.”

The sister of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain, ALSO said the death penalty should return.

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Muriel Jakubait, 86, said killers like Wright and Dixie should be “strung up and killed” rather than spend an easy life in prison. She said: “It would set an example. Serial killers don’t deserve to live.”

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said he stood by his views that Britain should bring back the death penalty for serial killers.

He faced a storm of controversy in 2003 for suggesting its return.

But he said: “I would bring back capital punishment for serial murderers. This is not a crime of passion – it’s premeditated and cold-blooded.”

Former Home Office Minister Anne Widdecombe also wants a return.

She said: “I believe it acts as a deterrent. It should be available in cases of premeditated murder.”

No ... says Sara Payne

Yet Sara Payne, mum of murdered schoolgirl Sarah, nine, is against the death penalty despite her ordeal. Sara said: “I don’t think anyone should be able to take another’s life.

It’s one of our core values as human beings living in a civilised country that you do not kill.

“A lot of people think it should be introduced for child killers. But I favour locking them up for ever and ensuring they have a horrible time.”

But tens of thousands of Sun readers flooded our offices with calls and emails demanding the reintroduction of capital punishment.

Janice Longman, 35, from Hartlepool, said: “The young these days are not scared of prison. They know they will have access to computers, PlayStations, gyms and whatever.

“If the death penalty was introduced maybe they’d think twice about kicking people to death.”

Ian Dennis said in an email: “I agree to bringing back the death sentence as there is too much killing on our streets these days. An eye for an eye. This country is too soft.”

But not all were in agreement. One female reader said: “No. Plain and simple. We cannot have a law that says man cannot murder but, if you do and get caught, we as a government can then kill you.

“That makes you no better than the people who go out and murder.”

The mother of all crusades


Published: 20 Mar 2008

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THE Sun's courageous Mothers in Arms yesterday took their crusade to mend Broken Britain right to the top.

Helen Newlove, Linda Bowman and Kerry Nicol spelled out their ten-point manifesto to Justice Secretary Jack Straw and Tory leader David Cameron.

And afterwards they declared: "We won't stop campaigning. This is just the start."

The Sun brought the grieving mums together after they lost loved ones to killers.

Helen's husband Garry, 47, was punched and kicked to death in front of their three daughters when he confronted a gang of yobs outside the family home in Warrington, Cheshire, last August.

Linda's daughter Sally Anne, 18, was raped and murdered in Croydon, South London, by Mark Dixie - last month jailed for a minimum of 34 years. Kerry's heroin-addict daughter Tania, 19, was Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright's first victim.

In an extraordinary cross-party display of support, Mr Straw and Mr Cameron cleared their diaries to meet them.

The mothers demanded the return of the death penalty, a compulsory DNA database, zero tolerance for minor crimes, the repeal of the Human Rights Act, more bobbies on the beat, parents made more responsible for their kids, victims' rights to be put ahead of offenders', juvenile criminals to be named and shamed, the scrapping of plans to turn off street lights to save energy and a crackdown on binge drinking.

Linda, 45, and Kerry, 38, met Mr Straw at his Ministry in Westminster.

Kerry asked if the Human Rights Act made the return of capital punishment impossible.

She told Mr Straw: "Ninety-nine per cent of Sun readers want it back. You have to listen to the people and what they want."

He said MPs had already voted four times against the death penalty.

On drugs, he pledged "stronger enforcement and better education" with a clampdown on dealers.

And he added: "We want parents to take responsibility. When I have constituents trying to make excuses for their kids I give them a lot of verbal stick."

He vowed to raise with police the expansion of the DNA database, saying: "I don't understand people who are not happy to give DNA samples."

Afterwards Kerry said: "He listened to everything we said. There doesn't seem much hope for bringing the death penalty back but you can never say never.

"I do not like the thought of Steve Wright just sitting in jail watching TV. I want him dead.

"We need to make politicians realise we need to be heard. We won't stop campaigning. This is just the start."

Linda said: "If I can just change one thing for Sally Anne I would feel that I had achieved something." She went on: "Our main concerns were the death penalty and the DNA database.

"We want people to know you can just go into any police station and volunteer your DNA if you would like to support this campaign."

Mr Straw said the mothers were "very courageous and tough". He added: "They quite properly gave me a tough time." David Cameron was moved to tears during his THREE-HOUR meeting with Helen, 45, at Conservative headquarters in London.

He told her: "The politicians need to listen."

Helen said afterwards: "I wasted no time in bringing up the tough issues that I feel are at the heart of Britain's demise.

"We talked about parenting, education and the need for tougher deterrents that fit the crime.

"We also covered a range of ideas - like ordering parents to carry out community service alongside their kids if they've not brought them up properly."

She added: "When I recalled the night that Garry was murdered, David became very emotional. And when I described the devastating impact Gary's death has had on my daughters, he had tears in his eyes.

"I told David he was no different to my Garry, just a loving dad who wanted the best for their kids.


"He vowed to do all he could to help - so hopefully, this will be just the start."

Mr Cameron said: "It was incredibly brave of Helen to talk about it, to make sure people understand what she and other people like her have been through.

"There's a lot of things we agree about - like what's going wrong with families and schools and how we need to do more to strengthen our society. There needs to be discipline and boundaries and they don't exist in too many places.

"There are certain things about the criminal justice system that need to change. Prison should be a place of work and we should make sure we punish people properly."


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