No.2 son had to write something about capital punishment for a school essay. He said that he was against it, because you might execute the wrong person and then you couldn't bring them back. This is indeed the central argument against it, I would have thought. He also said that even in the US, it would be better to sentence murderers to life imprisonment (as we don't do in the UK). Again, a sophisticated case against the death penalty, especially given the enormous cost of appeals and lawyers in the US system. All very good.
No. 2 might have also pointed out that there is no correlation between the murder rate and which States have the death penalty, so it's not even a deterrent.
So when he asked me what I thought, I said that I was in favour of the death penalty, but not for murderers, since it clearly doesn't deter them and you might get the wrong person. Surely it makes more sense to use the death penalty in places where it might deter behaviour and where you are certain have the right perpetrator. In this case, for example:
A woman made an emergency 999 call to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to say her cat was "doing her head in" because it was playing with string.[From BBC News - Woman's 999 call over playful cat]
Of course, to be really beneficial to society, the death penalty would need to be carried out before she could reproduce, but you have to start somewhere. I expect that my new green campaign (I think the death penalty should be remarketed as an environmentally-friendly alternative to both prison and keeping people alive in general) is certain to attract high-level celebrity support, so it may well become government policy before not too long.
Think about it. David Cameron needs a populist big idea that is simple enough for our moronic public to understand: what better one to choose than green capital punishment. This helps us to kill two birds with one stone (although that needn't necessarily be the only executive method) because it tackles the twin evils of stupidity and population growth. If we can execute enough stupid people, we can make a real impact on global warming without having to turn down the central heating.
Leading scientists, like Martin Rees, head of the Royal Society, Britain’s academy of science, also assert that population growth must be constrained in order to successfully confront global warming.[From Population Growth and Global Warming - Green Inc. Blog - NYTimes.com]
I see persons such as eco do-gooder Jonathan Porrit and British actress Susan Hampshire support something called the "Optimum Population Trust". I'm sure they will be right behind me, I must get in touch.