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death-penalty
(03/12/08) -

Half of Britons Would Reinstate Death Penalty

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Half of adults in Britain would be in favour of restoring the death penalty for cases of murder, according to a poll by YouGov. 50 per cent of respondents share this opinion, while 40 per cent disagree.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Half of adults in Britain would be in favour of restoring the death penalty for cases of murder, according to a poll by YouGov. 50 per cent of respondents share this opinion, while 40 per cent disagree.

Britain began a five-year moratorium on all death penalties from criminal convictions in 1965, and made the suspension permanent in 1969. Attempts to abolish the death penalty in Britain have been made since at least 1808, but each initiative was stalled at various stages of the legislative process. That said, even by 1861, there were only four civilian crimes—murder, treason, arson in royal dockyards, and piracy with violence—that were punishable by death.

Execution for any of five military offences—including "Serious Misconduct in Action" and "Obstructing Operations or Giving False Air Signals"—was repealed in 1998, though the last instance of its invocation occurred in 1942.

In 2003, when David Davis became the shadow home secretary of the Conservative party, his comments in support of the death penalty caused a major controversy. Davis declared: "I would bring back capital punishment for serial murderers. This is not a crime of passion—it’s premeditated and cold-blooded."

Polling Data

Should the death penalty for murder be restored or not?

Yes, it should

50%

No, it shouldn’t

40%

Don’t know

11%

Source: YouGov
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,011 British adults, conducted from Feb. 25 to Feb. 27, 2008. No margin of error was provided.