An Eloquent and Moving Letter Against the Death Penalty
This letter was published in the Times yesterday.
Sir, As a young police officer in 1953 I had to attend the Chester Assize Court when an 18-year-old was tried for the murder of his mother. He had quarrelled with her about a girlfriend and strangled her with his tie as she sat at the breakfast table. I watched in horrified fascination as a minister of religion placed a black cap on the judge’s head and the death sentence was passed. I recall reading later that it had been carried out.
Nothing will ever convince me that this boy’s death prevented anyone else being murdered. Since that moment I have been opposed to the death penalty. Even when the Moors murderers were convicted, I did not change my convictions. I am in my eighties now but it is an abiding memory. Perhaps if those wanting to bring back the death penalty had been there they would not be so keen.
As an aside here, C used to visit Holloway Prison in the 1970, where she met Myra Hindley amongst others. One of the warders she met, was one of those, who had taken Ruth Ellis to the gallows. That warden’s views had been totally changed by that horrific experience.
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