The Anonymous Widower

Dami Killers Should Have Been Hanged

This was front page headline in the Evening Standard and it is the words of Damilola Taylor’s father Richard on the release of the two Preddie brothers who killed his son. Read the story of the case here.

I of course don’t agree, especially as the brothers were just 12 and 13 when they killed his son. They actually got eight years youth custody for manslaughter.

I know what it is like to lose a son, but I can’t help feeling that the Death of Damilola Taylor was avoidable, if the various agencies and parents on both sides had taken more care and stood by their responsibilities.

But what I object to, is that newspapers are increasingly going on that the death penalty is the solution to the problems of violence and knife crime. But we all know sensationalism sells newspapers.

One point we should always remember, is that the Taylor family relocated to the UK to get treatment for Damilola’s elder sister’s epilepsy.  Surely with all it’s wealth Nigeria could do more to look after the people rather than descending into endless criminality and religious violence.

January 26, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

God Isn’t Listening

Apparently, Texas is in the midst of a drought.

According to The Times today, last April Rick Perry, the governor and Presidential candidate, lead a prayer for rain in the state.

And guess what?

It hasn’t rained.

Either God doesn’t exist or he/she doesn’t like the fact that Rick Perry executes a lot of people in his state.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kaletsky on America

Anatole Kaletsky in The Times is one of my favourite commentators and I usually read what he says.

Today’s missive, The New World is slipping behind the times, is unlikely to go down very well with those conservative Republicans whose main aim seems to be to take America back to the good old days, when men were men and preachers were preachers.  Women, blacks and other second class citizens did what they were told.

This paragraph is one of many, that doesn’t pull any punches.

The US is the only major country not even to have considered adopting the metric system, and which still uses fahrenheit instead of celsius and refuses to publish railway and airline timetables using the 24-hour clock. And then there are the scarily anachronistic social views, ranging from the death penalty to creationism over evolution.

America is going down a very small dead-end. We had better not follow them!

You have to admire Kaletsky to get the death penalty, metrication and evolution in one paragraph.

January 11, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Cloud-Cuckoo Land That is Republican Politics

I’ve just looked at this page on the BBC web site, which sets out the policies of the various Republican candidates, who might stand against President Obama. It looks like they are all against same-sex marriage and abortion, for cutting immigration into the United States, making everybody pay for their own health care and reducing tax rates to companies.

I can’t think of any past or present British politician, except for perhaps the BNP, who would promote such a toxic mix of electoral suicide.

But then the United States is different and you sort out your own problems.

It goes without saying, that no-one would be in favour of improving the justice and penal system and abolishing the death penalty.  But then most Americans believe in vengeance and not justice.

As I’ve said Barack Obama has been a disappointment to me, but he’s orders of magnitude better than this psychotic bunch.

January 4, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Racial Bias of the US Death Penalty

This article in today’s Guardian should be read by all.

It is one of the best and most scientifically correct articles I’ve seen on the death penalty and how in the United States, there is a racial bias in who gets convicted and executed.

In some ways, it sums up why I feel that Obama is one of the most disappointing US Presidents, I can remember.

Surely as a lawyer, who has practised at the sharp end and has seen how the death penalty aroused controversy in Illinois, he should have strong feeling against this cruel and unusual punishment.  But on the other hand he did approve the mission which led to the execution without trial of Osama Bin Laden.

January 3, 2012 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich says he is pro-life with respect to abortion.

Does that mean that he is against the death penalty?

I doubt it!

He has one of those special mirrors so he can shave both of his faces at the same time.

December 16, 2011 Posted by | News | , , , | 5 Comments

Amanda Knox and the US Justice System

I have no idea if Amanda Knox was guilty of murder or not.

The Americans put a lot of support behind her in an effort to persuade the Italians to free her, from a possible miscarriage of justice.

But then so many of the people in US jails have been failed by their own justice system. Several have been executed lately who didn’t get a trial with the care shown by the Italians.

But then Amanda Knox was white and intelligent, whereas most of those who suffer injustice in the States are black and illiterate and defended by lawyers, who aren’t the best to say the least.

But then the victim in the Amanda Knox case wasn’t American. We also don’t know how much pressure was put on the Italians.  After all their economy is rather rocky and if the United States withdrew support, it would have been serious.

October 5, 2011 Posted by | News | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Funeral Expenses of Troy Davis

The execution of Troy Davis in Georgia has been rightly condemned by many.

I have just received an e-mail, which says that his family are responsible for the expenses of his funeral.

September 24, 2011 Posted by | News | , | 4 Comments

The Great Advantage of Rick Perry As US President

He would be able to talk to President Ahmadinejad as an equal as they both have the same views on capital punishment.

This even extends to their views on  the execution of juveniles!

The two are made for each other!

September 22, 2011 Posted by | News | , , , , | 3 Comments

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.

August 9, 2011 Posted by | News | | Leave a comment

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