Capital Punishment Doesn’t Work

A recent editorial in this newspaper under the heading “10 reasons to oppose the death penalty” listed the names of the 10 Canadians who have been cleared of murder convictions because of miscarriages of justice or are still trying to clear their names. Some, possibly all, of them would have been executed by now if the Canadian government hadn’t outlawed the death penalty in 1976, and re-affirmed that position in 1987 despite polls that showed most Canadians favoured capital punishment. Continue reading

Capital Punishment

I was digging potatoes down in the bottom field, so I was, when I decided to take an overdue lunch break for a nice, cool glass of, um, buttermilk and a sandwich up at the house, after which I took a look at Saturday’s edition of this newspaper. As usual I turned first to the editorial/opinion pages, to see where my weekly column ended up and check out what the other great minds had to say about the important events and issues of our time.

An unsigned “point of view” editorial under the heading “time to hold referendum on death penalty debate” on the page opposite quickly caught my eye. I was, to put it mildly, shocked and appalled by what I read. Surely we’re not going to seriously consider bringing back the death penalty, let alone have a referendum about it. So what if “millions of Canadians want the return of capital punishment – whether it be by hanging or lethal injection – as punishment for the most heinous crimes against our society,” as the editorial opines? That doesn’t make it right. Continue reading