Despite its popularity, the death penalty kills innocents

Graveyard & Deathoriginally by: The Independent
published: 25 May 2012

The University of Michigan law school and Northwestern University have just compiled a database of over 2,000 United States prisoners exonerated between 1999 and the present day. One of the study’s findings was that death row inmates were exonerated nine times more frequently that others convicted of murder, raising the possibility that many innocent people have been sent to their deaths by the American justice system.

The last time a person was executed in Britain was 1964, and the death penalty was formally abolished in 1965. There were originally some 220 crimes on the statute books that warranted the death penalty, most reflecting a desire to protect private property; although others were of a more eccentric nature, such as a law against being in the company of gypsies for one month.

While the death penalty was last debated in Parliament in 2008, retribution is a big thing in tabloid Britain, and a majority continue to say they would support the reintroduction of the ultimate sanction for those convicted of murder. That figure rises significantly when the victim is a child or a police officer.

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