Monday, November 07, 2005

The third way

On the train home tonight, I overheard a debate between a young Tory and a Lib Dem voter. They were talking about the pros and cons of the death penalty (you can guess which side each were on).

If someone is convicted beyond any doubt of murder/child porn/rape/treason/terrorism (with witnesses, DNA and a signed confession), then rather than a) pay for them to spend their life in jail with pool tables and Sky TV or b) give them the easy way out and execute them, I would like to propose an alternative. We take all such offenders, line them up side-by-side, and make them walk across minefields to clear them. The ones who don't get blown up can then be taken to another minefield to continue their work. Related work could include donation of kidneys to young children who need them, or using convicts as "monkey-sparing" agents in laboratory research.

So now that we have come up with the idea, who should receive this novel sentence? Murder and child porn is probably a straightforward example. But if you want to include terrorists then I guess Mr Mandela would never have made President. And as for treason, I'm sure most of the Chinese would be getting very nervous.

So I guess prison isn't such a bad answer after all. Even for Tories.
I start work in just over 6 hours so best get some Zzzz.....

1 comment:

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

Don't know about your side of the pond, but over here in America, the death penalty means you get an extra round of appeals at taxpayer expense. It's actually cheaper to put them up for life in prison, so it's quite possible to be for the death penalty in theory, but against it on fiscal grounds.

Then, almost daily, we hear about someone else on death row exonerated by DNA evidence.

Besides, if someone raped/murdered/whatever my family member, I think I'd rather sit outside the prison and think about the bastard getting beat up or raped.

But I do love the minefield clearing too...