UKIP MEP Louise Bours has called for the UK to bring back the death penalty.
Bours claimed that it was not an official UKIP policy, but said that despite the UK having abolished capital punishment in 1965, she would support its reintroduction in a referendum.
In an interview with ITV News to mark the 50th anniversary for the end of abolition of the death penalty Bours said:
“In certain circumstances for certain types of crime, then the death penalty is absolutely is absolutely natural justice.”
Questioned about miscarriages of justice, she replied:
“Some crimes now are so hideous and so heinous and guilt is not in dispute at all, we can reel the names off: Whiting; Bellfield; the two people who murdered Lee Rigby so horribly; their guilt is not in dispute and I think to ask the taxpayers to keep them in prison for life is an abominations. And I think that we should have a victim-led and family-led justice system as opposed to always centred around the perpetrator.”
“There has been no debate about capital punishment in this country for a decade. We should now debate this in parliament and put this out to referendum.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has previously said that he did not see the UK returning to a system of capital punishment, noting that “there has been a massive change of social attitudes from my parents’ generation to my own children’s generation.”.
A recent YouGov poll to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the end of state execution in the UK, found that 45% of the public would support a reintroduction of the death penalty for certain crimes. This number had fallen from 51% in 2010 when 73% of UKIP supporters and 54% of Conservative voters backed bringing back the death penalty for those found guilty of murder.
The latest poll found that those aged 18-39 were most against the death penalty, and while only 39% opposed the move today, the time may soon come when the majority of people oppose state executions.
Interestingly, lethal injection was the most popular option for executions with 51% support, but in US states where the death penalty is legal many are turning away from the option. European drug manufacturers have banned the use of their drugs in executions and alternatives have found to be ineffective. There have been three “botched” executions by lethal injection this year in the US, as prisoners are put to death with experimental cocktails that have left them in agony for their final hours.
Capital punishment was abolished in 1965 in Great Britain and 1973 in Northern Ireland, and is also banned under the European Convention on Human Rights.