Death penalty ‘not a deterrent’

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I WAS horrified to read the views of Philip Circus, published in the County Times Of August 11.

The thought that a so-called civilised society would seriously consider reintroducing the death penalty is reprehensible.

The death penalty is not a proven deterrent and innocent people can and have been executed as the justice system is by no means perfect.

Experience from the USA in states where the death penalty is legal shows the system is racially biased and that many prisoners sentenced to death have a low IQ or mental illness.

Executing people rather than sending them to prison for life is state-sanctioned vengeance, not justice, and families of murder victims have spoken out against the death penalty (see http://www.mvfr.org – Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation and http://www.murdervictimsfamilies.org/).

Mr Circus is naïve and is vastly oversimplifying to think that any rise in the murder rate is a direct result of abolition – the causes of crime are multiple and complex.

Yes we need to look at the legal system and at sentencing, but we also need to look at why people commit crime, how to prevent it and how to deal with our criminals effectively.

The death penalty should never be the answer – which is why there has long been a global move towards wiping out this practice.

CHERI MIDDERIGH

Croft Way

Horsham