I have a friend who is vehemently opposed to capital punishment. In every way, no compromise, wherever in the world and whatever the crime.
Sadly I can't find myself fully agreeing with her, not because I don't find it unsettling and abhorrent, but because I really can't say there'd be no criminal whose end at the noose wouldn't concern me. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely glad that we abandoned hanging many years ago because it means there can be no more shocking cases like that of Derek Bentley, it's just that I can't honestly say I'd be too upset if I heard that they were going to hang someone like Ian Brady. It would be hypocritical of me to say otherwise.
So what's brought on this train of thought? The recent tragic and distressing case from India of the young woman who was gang-raped and who subsequently died from her injuries. There have not surprisingly been huge protests at the Indian police's lack of serious handling of the issue, as well as demands that the perpetrators be hung. Can't honestly say I'd get too upset at that prospect, as I've said above.
It has been interesting however over the last few days to listen to the right-on chorus of Usual Suspects as they rightly go to town on the issue of rape, but fail to make their usual noise over the prospect of someone receiving the death penalty. Maybe they need to examine their stance, or admit their hypocrisy.