Sunday 12 January 2020

 If a man strikes another with an iron object so that the man dies, he is a murderer, and he shall be put to death  (Numbers 35 v.16).

Regularly now, it seems as though instead of murder being an unusual crime as it once was, a time when a murder would be national news and Police would be supported by other Forces, it has become almost a daily crime which is glossed over in news bulletins.  It is not glossed over by parents when a young man, even boy, is stabbed to death, or a young woman found dead in some field or water. London has become a crime ridden place, exceeding what was usually pictured as happening in New York or Chicago. I can’t imagine the stress there will be on the senior Police Officers facing such a load of murders to be solved when each case requires much attention. The Mayor and civil authorities seem more concerned about environmental talk and gay pride marches than crime.

This has inevitably caused much comment as to whether police officers generally should all be armed, and whether capital punishment be introduced for the murder of a police officer.

I think most people, including those in the Police service, would not particularly favour arming police as a matter of course, but the issue of capital punishment is a different matter.  If a poll was conducted throughout the country it would show that the vast majority of the population would vote for such legislation, not only for police officers, but for murder.

When such a suggestion is made there is an immediate outcry from those who are never likely to venture out alone in any unruly area of the country, especially at night, and would do all they could to stay far away from any display of violence.  The Members of Parliament, who are always calling for independent enquiries into every subject imaginable, reject any discussion on bringing back capital punishment.

There was a time when a murder was considered to be of such seriousness that it was headline news for days.  Now murder is such a common crime that it is often just another item on middle pages of the press.  I state quite rationally that I doubt if a week goes past without it being reported (briefly) that a body has been found of a young man/woman, followed later by news of an arrest.  Despite this being so, we are told the number of murders has decreased.  If anyone seriously believes this, they are not facing reality.

It is all very well for such liberal minded people sitting comfortably in safe surroundings to be telling us how awful it is to suggest capital punishment, but if they had witnessed the tragedy of parents finding a policemen suddenly knocking on their door to tell them their daughter had been found strangled lying on a grass cliff; or returning home to find their teenage daughter lying with her head cut open having been struck with a steel bar; or young son stabbed to death  for no reason; and then to experience the frustration of seeing the perpetrator told they must serve at least ten years in prison, they would enter the real world.

I once took part in a debate with a Methodist Minister at a Church hall when he said, amongst other things, that it was un-Christian to support capital punishment. I stated, and still do, that it is because I am a Christian that I am in favour of such punishment. A little reading (and acceptance) of the Bible would support such a view, which is clear and unequivocal.

I am quite well aware the verse quoted is in the Old Testament, but Jesus said, 'do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them' ( Matthew 5 v.7)         

If the thugs who go out committing crime armed with guns knew that they faced the death penalty, there would be a different outcome.  I have heard all the arguments about wrongful convictions due to faulty evidence and police fixing.  The science into DNA research has proved most reliable into the establishment of fact, and I do not accept that police would deliberately give false evidence in such a serious case, especially knowing what a guilty sentence would mean.  Added to this is the Home Secretary has the authority to make a final decision.

When capital punishment was abandoned, the day afterwards policemen were shot dead in London.  The then Home Secretary, although probably the worst the country has had, just shrugged it off when questioned.  However, part of the agreement was that the alternative would be life imprisonment.  Now there is very little chance of a person being sentenced to life.  Regularly we read a person so convicted is told they ‘are sentenced to life imprisonment and must serve at least  ?? years, (small numbers) before release.’  The person who died had no reprieve, and their relations were left with a real life sentence.

When ever a suggestion is made that the public should be consulted as to whether to implement capital punishment, the politicians close ranks and express horror at the thought.  They obviously recognise the result.

It is time they faced facts and exercised some responsibility.

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