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article imageE-petition for death penalty could be debated in UK parliament Special

By Iram Ramzan     Aug 5, 2011 in World
British MPs could be debating the return of capital punishment if at least 100,000 supporters or more sign an e-petition.
But the most popular petition was one opposed to the return of the death penalty, which had gained more than 2,700 signatures.
Commons leader Sir George Young said Westminster cannot ignore this popular groundswell.
Speaking on the BBC, he said: “I think it’s important that people should let Parliament know what their views are and what they would like to see the House discuss after they return from the summer recess.
“Rather than hope the issue will go away, and duck it and avoid it, I think it’s right that the House of Commons should address the key issues that people are worried about at home.”
The e-petition has been presented by Paul Staines, who writes the Guido Fawkes blog, and has already been backed by several MPs.
Polling evidence, he said, shows that the size of the majority of the public in favour of the death penalty increases dramatically when specific instances are cited, for example child killers and police killers.
He said: “Politicians are out of touch on the death penalty. There was never a majority for abolition, it was the desire of a progressive political elite and it remains the same to this day.”
However, Neil Durkin, of Amnesty International, said that polls which show that peoples want to bring back the death penalty are usually taken after a particularly ‘horrible’ murder.
He said: “If you have an informed debate here about the death penalty, if you consider that the UK would be the only country in Europe, aside from Belarus, that wishes to re introduce the death penalty, that we’d be joining a club that’s topped by China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran, I think people would reconsider very fast.”
In a previous petition, almost 50,000 signed up to the idea of making TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson Prime Minister.
More about Death penalty, United Kingdom, House of Commons, Mps, Guido Fawkes
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