back to article Hanging's too good for 'em - so what do you suggest?

Our report last week that there's no evidence capital punishment has an effect on the murder rate in the US of A prompted a lively reader debate on the subject of execution. Just about the only clear conclusion that came from the tussle is that once you've been strapped to a gurney and administered a fatal chemical cocktail, …


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  1. Mike Richards

    Trying to get actual technical support from BT Total Broadband.

    My record is being able to assemble four sets of IKEA shelves and a cupboard during the time I was kept on hold.

    1. Karl H

      get them all declared as delusional

      and let a team of Psychiatrists administer daily electro-shock treatment .

      followed up with bucket loads of neuroleptic drugs, suppressing the dopamine receptor, inducing drug created pseudo parkinsons disease, hence getting them to do the "zombie shuffle"

      If they're found innocent we could just stop the "therapy", and hope the electro-shock hasn't done too much damage.

      All joking aside, the truly frightenning bit , is lots of psychiatrists still actually believe the above 2 treatments are "useful" . I suppose we'd need to define "useful".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: get them all declared as delusional

        There was a joke there?

      2. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

        Re: get them all declared as delusional

        Is that for convicted killers or BT support staff?

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      New unit of time?

      Is the IKEA-shelf-assembly-time set to become a new Reg standard unit?

  2. Andrew Moore

    How about...

    Severing the spinal cord at the neck, rendering them quadriplegic. And then leaving them to the families to care for them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about...

      This means that the society ends up caring for them.

      Once upon a time (just launch the classic "101 Dalmatians" to see that) prison was referred to as "Debt to Society". It should become this again in order for any punishment to take effect.

      For example - make the minor ones clean the sewerage of all houses in a neighborhood they tried to paint some grafitty on. Sweep the streets, remove the chewing gum, etc for minor offences. Most importantly - it must be in your neighborhood so you get the "real" street cred for stinking of shit, rotten sewerage and industrial bleach.

      As far as the ones that are to be "hung" (or to be more exact - lethal injected) make 'em drain malaria swamps in the third world and clear minefields. Punishment should fit the crime.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about...

      As long as you can restore things back to normal when they're found innocent. You did think of that possibility before engaging fingers, right?

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: How about...

        "As long as you can restore things back to normal when they're found innocent."

        Agree 100%. I'm curious about how republicans can hold both the following views extremely strongly and above all, simultaneously:

        a) government is inherently corrupt and inefficient and we should do everything possible to make government smaller and reduce governmental influence


        b) i completely trust a government agency to investigate, solve and pass sentence for a crime, with absolutely no doubt that the convicted person was indeed guilty, and i trust my government so much that I'll allow it to kill people who they think are guilty of anything serious

      2. Andrew Moore

        Re: How about...

        yep- I was thinking of some form of shunt or switch.

  3. JDX Gold badge
    IT Angle

    What has this got to do with IT?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Sweet eff all, mate. Welcome to El Reg.

      1. JDX Gold badge


        That's a non sequiteur... nearly every El Reg story is (at least a bit) related to IT.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Now there's an idea. Make them part of a 1st line IT Support Helpdesk. Now that IS cruel and unusual punishment

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        You sir, are sick...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For the really naughty ones

      Make them a moderator for El Reg comments.

      Part of the rehabilitation program could be to go round and "clarify" a few things to those who ask "What's this got to do with IT?"

    4. Bakunin

      "What has this got to do with IT?"

      It's called commentard baiting.

      The hacks at El Reg are presently gathered around a single monitor waving fistfuls of notes in the air and taking bets on which posters are going to come out of this with the most down/up votes.

  4. Matthew Glubb

    Escape from the Isle of Man

    Turn it into a lawless maximum security prison. For an added bonus, crash land your favourite world leader onto it and be thankful that Snake isn't around to save them.

    1. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

      Re: Escape from the Isle of Man

      You're Snake Pliskin! I thought you were dead.

      1. Chrome

        Re: Escape from the Isle of Man

        And taller

    2. Blubster

      Re: Escape from the Isle of Man

      Or..... as an alternative, give them all a back-pack apiece containing a map and some sort of weapon and set them off against each other Battle Royale style.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Escape from the Isle of Man

      Escape from New York crossed with The Wicker Man

  5. Camilla Smythe

    Does not Compute..

    "The execution of innocent people is death penalty opponents' strongest argument against nooses, electric chairs and gas chambers."

    and then

    "However, banging murderers up indefinitely just doesn't cut it for some people, so we're inviting suggestions as to how these perps could be made to really suffer."

    .... Oh, perhaps you were 'aving a larf.

    1. Andrew James

      Re: Does not Compute..

      Of course it computes.

      Opponents of the death penalty dont like the idea of killing people as punishment.

      However, an entirely different group of people think the death penalty is perfectly reasonable.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Does not Compute..


        A lot of people are in favour of death sentence but the potential of miscarriages of justice make it for them a no no.

        Same applies to mutilation ect.

  6. austerusz
    Thumb Up

    Well ...

    To put it in the words of the immortal Tyrion Lannister:

    cut off their manhood and feed it to the goats.

    Or as modern technology knows this: surgical castration.

    Simple & clean.

    1. Audrey S. Thackeray


      "cut off their manhood and feed it to the goats"

      Quite apart from the implications for our species if we convince goats our gennies are suitable fodder, I can think of quite a lot of people who would not be deterred by this particular punishment.

      1. Andrew James

        Re: Simple

        "I dont like or want children so i can butcher as many men / women / children as i like"

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Simple

        > quite a lot of people who would not be deterred

        Approx 51% of the human race...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simple

        I've been a long time fan of the "three strikes and they're off" approach for male criminals. Not sure how this would translate to the fairer gender.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well ...

      >cut off their manhood and feed it to the goats

      Do you realize that some of the most prolific serial killers have been female?

      1. Rob 30

        Re: Well ...

        really? well, no, i did not realise that actually, you got me thinking..

        branson or manson, fred west, jack the ripper, hmm, i'm stuck at 3 and they're all blokes.

        some of the most prolific you say? -how come they're not so famous do you reckon?

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Well ...

          Myra Hindly

          Wests wife.

          West topped himself - DIY execution. Their house has vanished as well. Evil bastards

  7. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Made to debate the current UK Gov's ICT policy with Orlowski!

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge


      For the really heinous crimes, made to debate UK military spending with Lewis Page...

      1. Christine Hedley

        Re: or...

        "For the really heinous crimes, made to debate UK military spending with Lewis Page..."

        I say! Steady on, old chap, I think there are limits beyond which a civilised society should not step.

  8. nigel 15

    sticky stuff on my hands

    i hate it when i get sticky stuff like orange juice on my hands.

  9. TRT Silver badge

    Apple OS naming convention.

    Use 'em to feed the leopards. Throw 'em in the arena to go up mano-e-garra against a lion or a tiger.

  10. ZanzibarRastapopulous


    Surely they should be praised for helping to reduce the over-population of the planet?

  11. Tempest 3K
    Big Brother


    Getting them to read Orlowski's tosh...I mean articles

    1. Richard Gadsden

      Re: Punishment


  12. Robert Moore
    Thumb Up

    It should be televised

    and bring back hangings.

    Live televised hangings every Friday night. With re-enactments of the crime before the main event.

    1. Uk_Gadget

      Re: It should be televised

      ^^ What he said.. Maybe a dedicated Sky 3d channel..

    2. Andrew James

      Re: It should be televised

      re-enactments done entirely by children in home made costumes

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It should be televised

        Re-enactment by Play Mobil gets my vote

      2. Why Not?

        Re: It should be televised

        Its got to be - Playmobil !

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It should be televised

      How about some kind of Running Man scenario.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It should be televised

      That's probably the ONLY thing that could possibly make the Lottery draw worth watching.

  13. Uk_Gadget

    Free the Title

    I got space in my deep freeze one or two...

  14. Ye Gads


    We could start off their day by having them read the Daily Express cover-to-cover while having porridge (naturally). This would be followed by spending the morning listening to John Major's election speeches. After a lunch of Haggis and pickled beetroot they could spend the afternoon pairing a socks. Dinner would consist of tofu and courgette, boiled until they were soggy. Prisoners would then have the evening free to watch repeats of Dads Army.

    This would be their schedule every day.

  15. Gashead

    Get Geoff Shreeves to interview them and point out in his own special way that they will be locked up for the rest of their life.

  16. Stratman

    I am against capital punishment, but a thought has occurred to me regarding its perceived lack of deterrence in the USA. Could it be the extended time interval between sentencing and execution that is the problem? It has been said that in some US cities among the adherents to certain lifestyles, life expectancy is longer on Death Row than out on the street. By the time an offender takes a needle in the arm for the last time the correlation between offence and punishment has vanished from public perception. If the gap were to be weeks rather than decades, might it be more of a deterrent?

    I don't know what the murder rate is in China, but there you're sentenced in the morning and your organs are being harvested that afternoon.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Actually, yes. On average, criminals discount the future so much that they are only focussed on the short term and don't worry about the future. Thus, if the time gap between committing a crime and getting punished is large (never mind getting caught), they will be less worried about committing the crime in the first place.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I don't know what the murder rate is in China, but there you're sentenced in the morning and your organs are being harvested that afternoon."

      Very practical, those Chinese. But you don't think they stop at the liver, heart, and kidneys, and let the part used corpse occupy a perfectly good grave, do you? I reckon they have the convict's skin for leather (make a nice soft wallet, or comfortable car seats). Blood and bone - mash it and bung it straight in a bag for the garden centres, muscles and meaty looking tissues can be sold to food processors; Stomach, intestines, brain - that can all be exported and sold to butchers in Yorkshire. Fat can be used for soap, lard, or tallow (maybe the NHS should do this for our pie munchers?). And that just leaves a small pile of sinews, eyeballs, nadgers, todger, and ringpiece - perfect for Ronnies.

      And you thought the chewy discoloured bit was a gerkhin.

    3. Windrose


      China? 1.12 per 100,00 - if we can trust the crowd at Wikipedia.

      So despite having (a) capital punishment, (b) really, really FAST capital punishment, it would appear that the Chinese - like most every other human - don't really consider the long-term effects of their actions.

      It doesn't work, Stratman, no matter which way we turn the numbers. People simply don't stop to think before stabbing their mate after a drunken row. They don't much think before doing anything much at all. If they did, then the Chinese numbers would be 0.

      1. Andy Christ

        Re: Deterrence?

        Deterrence is not the single issue. The overall consideration might be justice. Why should the state allocate resources to perpetuate the life of one who has taken it from others?

        I'm no fan of capital punishment, as no justice system in the world is immune to corruption or incompetency. That said, what does one do with someone like anders behring breivik, about whose actions there is not a shadow of doubt? And he will only get like what, twenty two years or something, for killing seventy seven and injuring scores more? Justice might prefer to err on the side of caution, but in this case the erring seems egregious.

        1. Windrose

          Re: Deterrence?

          "And he will only get like what, twenty two years or something, for killing seventy seven and injuring scores more?"

          21 years is the maximum possible prison sentence we can give him. Then we can ALSO hand him a "... but we'll have to evaluate you every fifth year after that, to see if you are safe to release first" deal.

          That said, we need to keep "justice" and "revenge" firmly apart. What, except the cheering of a few bloodthirsty, will we - society that is - gain from killing off ABB? He ain't gettin' out again, so he won't repeat.

          As it is we can pat ourselves on the back and go "Good on us, me old mucker! We've remained philosophically clean!"

          I can live with that.

  17. jai

    go traditional

    I'm all for hang-drawn-and-quartering, like we used to do in the old days. But in this age of reality tv, it makes sense that we'd have a telephone vote to see which convict the hangman pulls the trapdoor on. And also, prior to the hood going on, they could hit the button that starts the Lotto ball machines going.

    It'd be much like it was in the medieval days, but instead of everyone having to crowd into a market square to watch, these days the whole nation can tune in on Freeview, the advertising revenue would be huge, which could be cycled back into helping get us out of the recession.

    "Aaaaand those are the numbers for this Saturday. The numbers were picked this evening by Lotto Machine Galahad, and convicted child murderer and rapist, Barry "The Butcher" Smythe, who topped the telephone vote. And here comes the hangman, he's putting the noose over Barry's head. Barry gives us all a big grin and a wave, and.... there he goes! See his legs kicking!!"

    1. g e

      Re: go traditional

      Ahhh, dancing the Tyburn Jig ;o)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: go traditional

      >Barry "The Butcher" Smythe,

      Shirley that should be Bawwy "The Butcher" Smythe

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: go traditional

        Presented by Jonathon Woss then?

        Being forced to shuffle off this mortal coil with the last things you hear and see being Wossy's dulcet tones and boat?

        That's just plain evil, that is.

  18. Imsimil Berati-Lahn
    IT Angle

    Put them to good use

    One of the reasons for bringing back hanging is that it leaves the remainder of the vital organs in good condition, ready and available for safe and speedy transport, transplant into a more worthy host. Both lethal injection and electric chair (for the most part) render much of the potential organ harvest unusable. Only decapitation offers an equally good preservation of this vital resource.

    1. g e

      Re: Put them to good use

      Have you not seen those films where the strangler's hand get transplanted, etc?

      By crikey!

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Re: Put them to good use

      I think that the heart needs to still be beating when you harvest the organs, so breaking the neck by hanging means you have to be very quick. I would think that the Monty Python "live organ harvest" would make for the most viable organs. (From an entirely objective, however very unpleasant perspective).

      1. relpy

        Re: Put them to good use

        I keep reading "organs" as "oranges". It's very confusing.

        Is it possible to go dyslexic?

    3. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Re: Put them to good use

      <sick mode>

      Oh, on the other hand, they could also be used to feed the homeless (the bits that are left over after the live organ harvest).

      </sick mode>

    4. Andy Christ


      Wouldn't decapitation waste too much blood? IANAD but I imagine such a procedure would hasten the cellular death of the organs one was trying to preserve for transplant.

      Of course the most efficient method would simply entail the "donor" making involuntary contributions until entirely depleted of resources, without first being offed.

  19. g e

    Bring back The Games

    Yep, Gladiatorial combat Running Man style

    I also advocate this for footballist fans hooligans... one field with a 25ft electric fence, Arsehole City fans enter from one side while Rapist United fans enter from the other. Big box of bats and machetes in the middle.

    Last one standing goes through to the next round.

  20. ISYS

    Inhumane but they deserve it....

    How about making them watch an endless loop of the Un-necessarilly long pause between 'And the winner is......' and the anouncement. If the video could contain a close up of the orange presenter with expression that says 'I am about to anounce the exact date of armageddon' so much the better. Be sure to include the 'fake smile through the tears' of the loser informing everyone 'you haven't seen the last of me'

    I'm sure the convict would rip out their own eyeballs and stuff them in their ears so that they could no longer see or hear the above!

  21. 0765794e08

    Banish them from society

    I like the idea of ‘banishment’.

    Find some large, fairly inhospitable, uninhabited island safely away from the mainland, and simply banish murderers to it. They could be dropped in by parachute. There would be no infrastructure of any kind on the island - the murderers would have to fend for themselves, and live off the land.

    Probably best to limit it to male murderers to keep the population in check. The space duly released in the prison system would allow for proper ‘life’ sentences for female murderers.

    1. Tom7

      Re: Banish them from society

      We tried it, it didn't work. They come back as cricketers and win the ashes (most years).

      1. Why Not?

        Re: Banish them from society

        Don't forget it wasn't just Australia

        HMP America was also popular. They don't like being reminded for some reason.

        We closed it down with our American tax office when the new natives got restless.

        Most of these options don't allow reversal if (as is very likely there will be in some cases) there has been a miscarriage of justice.

        I think the real issue is streaming the prisoners based on severity and status of their case (separate people who haven't been convicted or paid their council tax from mass murderers).

        Those that have been convicted of serious crimes should be segregated in US style super prisons. No contact, no association, no fresh air, no escape just their perspex cell.

        It would be like a walking death, mentally horrifying. Build plenty of those and lengthen sentences for any pre meditated violence if you are willing to kill another Society doesn't want you back.

        Where the reason for minor offences are obvious e.g. illiteracy, drug addiction. Then efforts should be made to correct those. If you fail a random drug test you aren't getting out of prison. Good work has been done with victims confronting offenders, many criminals don't realise the damage they do.

        3rd strike on serious crimes means all your sentences and possible sentences go to max. 15 year minimum stretches, if they haven't learnt by the third time they aren't going to. Obviously Prostitution or failing to pay minimal taxes 3 times would be more lenient.

        Though if you are only interested in joke options,

        Looped Simon Cowell, BBC parliament or Corrie would make most intelligent murders self terminate.

        Attempting to get an issue resolved via many PC manufacturers best shored helpdesks might also save on syringe costs.

        Tell someone you had an accident in the last 3 years then you will be plagued 24*7.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. David_H

      Re: Banish them from society

      Didn't we try that with Australia once a long time ago?

      Maybe the answer now would be the B Ark?

    4. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      One way ticket to Australia

      I think it meets all your criteria.

    5. MS Rocks

      Re: Banish them from society

      Australia? We tried that before. Now we all want to live there.

  22. ItsNotMe

    Tell them they have to find an honest politician...

    ...ANYWHERE. Or face a lifetime confinement...with Bill O'Riley.

  23. Derk
    Paris Hilton

    Hang'em high - make a Dead mans Newtons Cradle

    I really don't care if prisons and the death penalty does not deter them from re-offending. Once they are in prison they are not on the streets, no longer free to commit more crime.

    For very dangerous (Multiple Murderers) types, I'd tell them, that you go on the organ donation list, whilst in prison. What ever organ is needed will be taken. If you die? tough should have thought about that before you did the crime. Your remains will be used to further medical knowledge.

    For repeat continual offenders? Welcome to the drug trials, and they are not the drugs you are thinking about.

    For minor crimes? Education is required, together with hard labour. They will eventually look forward to learning.

    I'd select a nice mix of rapists, murderers, thieves, and allow them to be re-habilated in the homes of lefty bleeding heart liberals types. Perhaps televise it too. This week little Tarquin's plan to show Roger the rapist that he is loved has unforeseen consequences. Tom's efforts to entice Buba to read the Guardian need a re-think, and medical treatment by a proctologist.

    Paris...because she knows all about crime, punishment and "insertion"

    1. Windrose
      Thumb Down

      Re: Hang'em high - make a Dead mans Newtons Cradle

      You missed the bit about wrongful convictions entirely, didn't you?

      Oh. Was that meant to be FUNNY? Sorry.

  24. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    I'm surprised that no one has suggested yet to abandon them in Hull.

    1. wibble001

      hey!! I'm from Hull and i totally disag.......... actually, never mind.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Bonus, the Home Office gets to hide the cost under the "Urban Regeneration" budget.

    3. proto-robbie

      That's not right...

      Hartlepool is the place you're looking for.

    4. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      That's because we haven't got round to building a thirty foot wall round Hull yet.....

  25. wibble001

    I'm sure the mindless drosses would be perfectly happy with capital punishment if it was in some sort of X-Factor/The Voice/Strictly/any other crap vote show, where the crim with the fewest votes got it in the neck.

  26. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT) Silver badge

    Prison 101

    How has no-one mentioned this yet? Like the 1984 room of the same denomination, Prison 101 sees you locked away with your all time worst fear. When the prisoner gets desensitised to it, move on to their second worst, until they are a gibbering shell of human wreckage.

    With this in mind, I should like to take the opportunity to publicly and candidly announce that I am terrified of naked, large-breasted women. Terrified.

    1. Mark #255
      Big Brother

      Re: Prison 101

      I have a phobia of beer.

      (with apologies to Mitchell and Webb's radio show)

    2. Shady

      Re: Prison 101

      We'll see you locked up with Jo Brand then

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Prison 101

        I have to admit I've not studied Jo Brands breasts very closely, or have ever felt the need to. I'll have to concede to your clearly superior knowledge of saggy old lady boobs.

        1. Shady

          Re: Prison 101

          I've been married twenty years so I'm something of an expert. And my wife doesn't know "Shady" is my pseudonym so there's no risk of bodily harm

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Prison 101

        Mr Brand would be OK then.

    3. GeekAlphabet

      Re: Prison 101

      So if you go to prison 101, how long until you get desensitised? 30 seconds??

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'll just give Hagrid a ring

      and see if he can supply some Boggarts.

  27. Andrew James

    - Force them to live with no human contact for the rest of their lives.

    - Play a combination of old modem connection, and Sinclair ZX Spectrum game loading sounds 24 hours a day with corresponding flashing lights.

    - Put a digital display on the wall to show days, hours, minutes & seconds since they first entered the room.

    - Only feed them the sort of stuff they would get on the international space station, recycled urine included.

    - Make the cell a cube measuring approx 8 feet in each dimension.

    Sooner or later they will take their own lives by banging their heads against the wall hard enough to do some serious harm.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prison power...

    We're always being told that wind turbines require backup power-generating capacity for when there's no wind. I'd like to see all our prisoners forced onto giant electricity-generating treadmills every time we need to cover the slack.

    1. Peter Johnstone
      Thumb Up

      Re: Prison power...

      Reminds me of an old episode of the Lexx, prisoners on the planet fire had to continually cycle and operate hand pumps to circulate cooling air. Those that didn't want to cooperate were given an incentive. Their heads were put in a guillotine like contraption that decapitated them when they stopped pumping. Works for me.

  29. Frederic Bloggs


    Reliable, available, cheap, good historical precedent etc. The perp can choose, life with no parole or suicide.


  30. John A Blackley

    Make them members of parliament

    'nuff said

  31. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Does anyone else find it sinister that in the same week that a company is launched to mine asteroids, our Register overlords are planning a replacement for the death penalty? There's clearly some conspiracy going on at the top echelons of the tech industry - and El Reg are involved.

    Seeing as Australia appears to be full, or at least no longer accepting deliveries... I suggest transportation to the platinum mines on Ceres. Mining robots are just so much more expensive than convict labour.

    Also, if we're finally going to use space, and move towards the future promised in all good science fiction, then we need to add the correct dystopian elements as well. The future usually seems to involve the poor space colonists being slaves to the big corporations, until they get eaten by aliens of course.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Apple fanboi idea

    "On the other hand, why not handcuff ne'er-do-wells for 30 years to an Apple fanboi in a queue to be the first to buy the latest iPad?"

    But this won't work because, under the new scheme, the fanboi will be the first to be punished in the new way.

    You got yourself an infinite recursion problem there, matey...

  33. Richard IV

    Permanent anxiety

    Notwithstanding that I'm a firm believer that humane punishments are preferable within civilised societies and no doctor would ever agree to do it, I'll offer up something to induce perpetual anxiety. An adverse reaction to a (prescribed) drug left a friend of a friend like that and it completely broke him. I cannot think of anything worse.

    And instead of the relatively humane chemical castration, how about adjusting the flow rate of blood to the genitals so that arousal means rupture. No even vaguely sexual thoughts without significant pain and blood loss...

  34. S4qFBxkFFg

    Let's keep it simple.

    Reserve capital punishment for those who are too dangerous to risk them ever escaping - life without any possibility of early release for the rest.

    As for the method, a large-bore shotgun fired point-blank into the medulla would be the best one I can think of that balances reliability and simplicity.

    Don't televise it, or otherwise draw attention, just have some independent witnesses, then cremate the body and flush the ashes.

    Organ donation would be fine too, but that's a bonus.

  35. andywhite


    Don't allow them any footwear, and carpet the prisons in lego bricks and upturned UK plugs

  36. John70

    Death Race

    Pit them against each other in a high-octane motor race. Win 5 races and they can win their freedom.

    Plus cars with frikkin' lasers....

  37. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    They should be forced to become politicians. It'll cut out the needless middling around before they're convicted of something if they're convicted at the start.

  38. Derk

    Old Folks homes

    Starve the criminals, until they are frail and fragile. Then put them in old folks homes to be abused, beaten, denied medical treatment, fed slop, put to bed at 1730, denied the toilet, made to sleep in their own shit. The plus side is, that it is completely legal, and the organisation is already in place. The pensioners can move to the prisons, have big screen TVs, no fees to worry about, instant medical treatment, better food.

  39. Ikoth


    Stop using animals for testing drugs, cosmetics, etc; use convicts instead.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bum Sex

    and if that doesn't work then death!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do to them as they do unto you.

    Rapists, rape them!

    Murderers, murder them!

    Theives, Nick all of their stuff!

    Getting the gist here? Eye for an Eye.

    Then flog them, bring back the stocks.

  42. Shady

    Make them code...

    ...a "Jurassic Park" scale application in Visual Studio 11 Beta. For added cruelty, display a picture on their desk of what Visual Studio used to look like before metro.

  43. Cunningly Linguistic

    Put them to work in the Foxconn factories, but all their wages go to the Chinese person they replaced.

  44. Christoph Silver badge

    Fear of Death?

    Put them in fear of death by making them think they're dying. Something like maybe pouring water over their face so they think they're drowning?

    Once of course that you are certain that they are guilty, and not someone picked up by chance and actually innocent.

    But then of course no civilised society would really do anything like that.

  45. Eduard Coli


    It is hard to argue with the recidivism rate of capital punishment, the dead generally are not repeat offenders, the undead might though.

    The justice system in the US and I'm sure elsewhere has failed many times to insulate the case from the politics of the time and what is justice to some is class warfare to others.

    Perhaps they should be made to work a job until they have paid back the losses of the victim plus interest or maybe trial by combat.

  46. Haku

    Fix the crumbling roads - all of them

    The state of the road surface in the UK is bloody atrocious, and some parts are just about lethal if you're on two wheels, the whole lot needs to be re-surfaced, not patched up by filling the potholes and not even putting tar around the edge to seal it up.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anybody want this garbage

    1: Given how so many countries see fit to complain about how other countries handle their internal affairs (and I will admit the US is right up there in doing so), how about saying "Here we have a grade-A bona fide serial killer named Dennis Rader a.k.a. BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) - admitted his guilt, plead guilty, victims' belongings in his shed as souvenirs, said he was going to start working out to get back in shape so he could kill more people - Does any country want to take responsibility for him for the rest of his days? No? OK then, shut up about what we do with this garbage."

    2: Some people (e.g. BTK) are going to be a clear, present, and continuing threat to society for as long as they shall live. Since we do not yet have the ability to re-wire their brains to fix that, all we can do is lock them away from society for the rest of their lives. So the question is "how long is the rest of their life?" - 50 years or 50 minutes? Sorry, but in this case I have no problem with putting them down like the rabid vermin they are.

    3: Other people may not have such a clear cut case against them: they may be maintaining their innocence. But then, very few people will get up on the stand and say "I did it, I'll do it again given the chance, so what?".

    Many people assert that "We cannot put them to death, because that is not reversible." I have some bad news for you sunshine: neither is locking them up for 10 years before you find they are not guilty - you can release them, but you cannot give them those 10 years back. That's why a cornerstone of American jurisprudence is "If you have reasonable doubt about their guilt, you MUST find them not guilty." Whether the penalty is death or imprisonment *shouldn't* make a difference in deciding guilty or not guilty.

    4: If somebody ISN'T a clear (as in "no question about it"), present (as in "this isn't just a theoretical risk"), and continuing (as in "sure he's whacked now - but get him off the drugs and he'll be right as rain") risk to society, they should NOT be executed (and likely not imprisoned, either.)

    I am NOT in favor of executing somebody save in cases of out-and-out premeditated murder. In cases of premeditated murder, you have to examine if the person can be salvaged. If not, then life in prison - and that should be 50 minutes.

    1. Sweep

      Re: Anybody want this garbage

      ""If you have reasonable doubt about their guilt, you MUST find them not guilty." Whether the penalty is death or imprisonment *shouldn't* make a difference in deciding guilty or not guilty"

      It shouldn't make a difference in deciding their guilt, however it should make a difference in deciding the punishment if capital punishment is an option. If there is *any* doubt about their guilt, reasonable or otherwise, then they should not be put to death.

      For premeditated murder, with zero doubt as to guilt, then they should be fired out of a cannon as soon as sentenced.

  48. ADJB

    Make them live with my ex.

    1. Mr Young

      All this talk of death

      and somehow your comment really scared me!

    2. ObSolutions, Inc

      My thought exactly

      Perhaps as an added bonus, make them check in daily on a government-procured website from a Win95 computer.

      Only caveat: not sure whether the damage will be permanent.

  49. Connor

    Death Penalty IS a deterrent

    It is always said that the death penalty is no deterrent, quoting such and such US study etc. But we Brits seem to miss the most pertinent and most comprehensive study on the death penalty deterrent - Britain.

    For over 100 years the murder rate was in decline in Britain, with slight increases after WWI and WWII (no increase during the Great Depression). There were 9.6 murder per million people in 1900, dropping down to 6.2 in 1960. After which we had our own moratorium and for the first time in a century the murder rate rose, and rose doubling in 20 years (12.5) and now standing at triple what it was before the death penalty was abolished.

    If the death penalty is no deterrent, why did the murder rate sky rocket after the abolition, when it was in decline before it?

    Personally I don't think hanging is ever too good for them, but then again I am all for some kind of Running Man/Gladiator type thing. We may as well get some use from the scourge of society. Or perhaps some kind of military suicide squad that could at least give them some chance at redemption.

    1. Cliff

      Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

      Alas correlation is not proof. We could also tie the murder rate to the adoption of the transistor, or motor car use, or the price of cigarettes, baby boomers ages, violence on TV, video games, the decline in church attendance, you get the idea.

      Not saying it is or isn't a deterrent (it doesn't deter me, for instance, but that's annecdotal), just that you cannot point at a solitary change and say it is responsible for everything that changed after that date.

      1. Connor

        Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

        True, but it is startlingly coincidental that at precisely the time, (not a decade before, nor a decade after) that the death penalty is abolished, the murder rate rises, for the first time in 100 years.

        The only way to know for certain would be to re-instate the death penalty and judge the effect. But of course as long as there are those who believe that it is no deterrent, state that it isn't (likewise without proof), then this will never happen.

        It being a deterrent is of course hugely ambiguous anyway, would it stop me killing the man that raped my daughter - no. Would it stop me beating a man to death who tried to steal my phone - probably. The only clear cut way of determining such a deterrent is in the statistics.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

          If these figures are reliable then there wasn't a step increase after 1965 nor was there continual decline for the previous 100 years

          In addition during the Victorian era when punishment was much more severe and prison conditions much less comfortable the murder rate was considerably higher than the mid 60s.

          1. Connor

            Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

            Those statistics are largely similar to what I have seen. Usually an average is taken every 5-10 years as it can obviously change quickly in a year due one event (bombing or murder spree).

            As detailed on that page from 1860 to 1960 it declines every decade from 17 murders per million to 7. And then back up the same again to 14 in 1990 - 14.5 in 1995 and then to peak in 2002 at 18 or 19.

            But there was a steep increase, it declined over a century but rose higher than before in less than half that time. Taken as a 5 or 10 year average the rise is very clear.

            The murder rate was pretty high in Victorian times, as you'd expect, poor policing (if any) and no emergency services, poor medical treatments. If someone was attacked, they'd likely die of their injuries, or a resulting infection. Whereas today, a victim can be in a hospital within minutes - yet the rates are still comparable!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

      >If the death penalty is no deterrent, why did the murder rate sky rocket after the abolition, when it was in decline before it?

      Just to play Devil's advocate maybe it was immigration. The death penalty was abolished in 1965 which coincided with a peak in immigration.

      Or maybe a peak in the number of young men reaching adulthood in 1965 who were born to single mothers due to the influx of US servicemen during the last few days of WWII.

      Or since the murder rate has been in decline for the last decade and currently stands at 11-12 per million not the triple you claim then maybe it's just one of those cyclic things.

      1. Connor

        Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

        True, there could be other reasons, but as I said, it didn't rise during the Great Depression one of the worst socio-economic disasters in history, nor continue to rise after the World Wars - which is surprising considering the violence involved in both and the old adage "violence breeds violence" and it rose precisely when the death penalty was abolished, not years later.

        Immigration is a possibility, but unless nearly all the immigrants were would-be murderers (or even victims) it cannot account for such a large and continuous rise. Especially as the statistics show immigrants during that time made up a tiny minority of both murderers and victims.

        You're right, the murder rate is about 12 now, but it did reach 18 or 19 in the early 2000s and when you take into account that the injuries that were fatal pre-1960 (stabbings, beatings, shootings, etc) are now much more survivable, then the rise is even more stark.

        As for it being cyclic, possibly, but it is worth noting that there has never been such a continuous rise in recorded history, nor has the murder rate ever been so high as the recent peak (18 murders per million) in the modern era. Even the early Victorians could boast a lower murder rate than modern Britain, despite medical advances.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

          Your OP said >>>now standing at triple what it was before the death penalty was abolished.<<<

          Now you concede it is double and you took your figure from the early 2000s. If you wish to pove a point stick to verifiable facts and don't exaggerate nor twist things otherwise you will lose credibility.

          1. Connor

            Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

            I don't keep a running total sadly, and as I said, the data is usually taken in either 5 year or 10 year blocks, so I was working on the last one I had read - 2005 data - when I last had this discussion. I hadn't realised that 2010 had shown a decline.

            The fact remains, it was triple, now it has declined to double, we won't know until 2015 whether that was a blip, or a trend. Despite some amazing medical advances and 'advances' in policing, education etc our murder rate is still on a par with Indian Mutiny Britain and higher than it has been since Jack the Ripper and after a century of decline the rise started in 1965. The year that Sydney Silverman pushed his Murder Bill through Parliament.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

              >True, but it is startlingly coincidental that at precisely the time, (not a decade before, nor a decade after) that the death penalty is abolished, the murder rate rises, for the first time in 100 years.

              There you go changing your point of reference again. Now you do want to base your claims on decade on decade.

              The last decade of decline has seen the likes of Fred West and Harold Shipman so the coming five years are likely to be lower.

              You are correct that advances in medicine may have saved some who may have died in earlier times but I would think those are balanced out by undetected or undocumented murdersfrom those times.

    3. Windrose

      Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

      "If the death penalty is no deterrent, why did the murder rate sky rocket after the abolition, when it was in decline before it?"

      Try turning it around. If it WAS a deterrent, why'd people still go and do it?

      'cause people don't THINK before they react, and most murders are done whilst not thinking straight. Someone nicks your phone? You hit'im, and hit'im again and then you start thinking that the distinct lack of breathing in the bugger might mean you're up that particular creek and the boat is leaking.

      Of course, you'd not do the jig for THAT, but rather we'd hang the woman who wait until the boyfriend falls asleep and THEN knives him, 'cause he's thrice her size and has kept her lock in and beaten up for two weeks. That's *premeditated* that is.

      1. Connor

        Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

        Surely you could turn that around again, why bother with crime and punishment at all, it hasn't solved the problem of crime. You're logic is flawed however, it isn't about stopping crime or stopping murders, but about punishing those that do. Punishment is the deterrent. Few people want to die, so I am pretty sure that it makes even the most simple minded think of the possible consequences to their actions. You seem to be saying that we shouldn't use the best deterrent, as it may not work for everyone? As I said, flawed logic.

        As for the oft used claim that murder is often committed in the heat of the moment, it is a fanciful claim with very little evidence to back it up. After all, everything is done in the heat of the moment, how can anyone really tell? Yet oddly, people seemed to do it less pre-abolition than post. Odd that. Maybe folks back then were just more considered?

        It is also worth noting that about 1 in 20 released murderers on parole end up back in prison, so these 'heat of the moment' types tend to get caught up in it a lot. It is also worth nothing that the Government (no UK Government) purposely does not keep accurate records of how many released murderers go on to murder again.

        1. Karl H

          Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

          I just read some of your deterrent / not deterrent....

          Dunno if I care if it is a deterrent. For me that isn't the issue. If we could say "they definitely done it" , then I really don't have a problem with killing them. It is only the miscarriages of justice I have a problem with. There are also a lot of grey areas when someone has killed someone else, provocation , self defense etc. Of course there are cases like Ian Brady / Myra Hindley , Peter Sutcliffe, Iam Huntley where it is difficult to see any extenuating circumstances, and the evidence seems overwhelming, in which case, yeah kill them so that leads on to how ?

          As for the type of death punishment harvesting their organs for donation seems like the best idea to me, we don't even have to hang them. Just send them into the operating theatre, sedate them, once their heart, lungs, liver, kidneys etc are removed, well they're f***ed anyway.

        2. Windrose

          Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

          "Surely you could turn that around again, why bother with crime and punishment at all, it hasn't solved the problem of crime."

          Yes, well, you could say that, but before you do, why not take a very long, very close look at the number of crimes and the number of recurring crimes in countries with harsh vs. human justice systems?

          "You seem to be saying that we shouldn't use the best deterrent, as it may not work for everyone? As I said, flawed logic."

          When claiming my logic is flawed, it is not useful to start off by saying "you seem to be ... ".

          What I AM saying is simple: if you ask any half-way sane person whether they'd be deterred from a crime by having their head cut off, or by being fried alive by electricity, they would very, very likely answer "YES!".

          And STILL people committed murder in France, and still do in the US. The death penalty is not a deterrent, as it doesn't stop people comitting murders. Frankly I don't care for the touchy-feely idea that we should have "punishment X! That's how we've always done it!" if X doesn't do anything to fix the problem.

          1. Connor

            Re: Death Penalty IS a deterrent

            Then I say again, abolish prisons as it doesn't solve crime, abolish hospitals and medicine as people still die etc. There are few magic bullets to problems and there most certainly isn't one for crime or murder itself. The best we can do is hope for the best deterrents that will perhaps save some innocent lives, rather than burying our heads in the sand waiting for a catch all solution that will never materialise.

            As for the harsh Vs human justice systems, again, look at Britain - we had a harsh system pre-abolition and there were less murders. We moved to a 'human justice system' and the murder rate went up. It really is that simple.

            Besides, for your comparison - Texas which has one of the harshest penal systems and executes more prisoners than any other US state, has a re-offending rate of just 28% - The UK's 'human justice system' ensures a re-offending rate of 74%. It really could not be any clearer.

            You see, I am old enough to remember this. The abolition of the death penalty was never popular, around three quarters of the population were against doing so, according to polls at the time. But the liberal MPs pushed it through anyway, knowing what was best for us. When the murder rate went up - we were told by our betters that it was too early for it to be a trend. When it continued to increase, it was called a blip. When it was clear to all that it was a trend and that it started at the abolition, we were told that the 60s were a long time ago and it is not possible to draw comparisons from such a long time ago and other factors were to blame. And the fools believed that.

            You see there are those that are against the death penalty because they believe it to be wrong, regardless of whether it is a deterrent, regardless of whether it reduces murder, regardless of whether it is deemed a sufficient punishment by the majority; they see it as wrong, ergo it is, regardless of any evidence to the contrary. This is why we'll never see any kind of democratic debate of the subject, anywhere other than on the internet.

  50. Crofty616

    Military Training

    Tracking collar around the neck (in case they somehow escape), dumped in a Military training area where the forces hunt them down and kill them.

    Gets rid of the scum, and the army get a chance to train on tracking enemy soldiers, job done.

  51. Dan Paul

    How about a Combination of "Survivor" and "Hunger Games"

    Given the propensity of the "proletariat" to watch game show and reality tv, how about a Pay per View version of Survivor/Hunger games? The fees would go to victim compensation and enforcement funding.

    As long as the justice system is completely certain that the prisoners are 110% guilty then they get what they deserve.

    Unfortunately there are people out there that would deliberately cause crimes so they could get caught and be on this kind of tv show.

  52. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    How about

    Human sacrifice to appease the gods and to bring about the end of global warming.

    Easy to prove too, from 1600 onwards, Europeans have been exploring and 'civilising' the rest of the world and stamping out human sacrifice.

    Since about 1600 , global temps have been increasing

    I rest my case.

    Next week: Unifying general reativity with quantum mechanics..

  53. Robert E A Harvey


    Australia worked out OK.

    How about being the labour force for Asteroid Mining?

  54. croaker

    Mega City Iso-Cubes

    That is all

  55. lawndart


    I like some if the ideas above, but only for people who are a genuine danger, confessed to the crime and are unrepentant.

    I did think of putting Anders Breivik and Abu Qatada in adjacent cells with just bars separating them for a couple of days. I can just imagine the frothing and foaming that would occur.

    Then, one night when they are both asleep, the bars retract.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: says

      And what will they do to each other?

      Man love?

  56. BlueGreen

    our current society is too civilised to see what's possible

    can't beat the wisdom of the ancients <>:


    The punishment involved the execution of close and extended family members. These included:

    * The criminal's living parents

    * The criminal's living grandparents

    * Any children the criminal may have, over a certain age (which is usually variable depending on the time period)

    * Any grandchildren the criminal may have, over a certain age (which is usually variable depending on the time period)

    * Siblings and siblings-in-law (the siblings of the criminal and that of his or her spouse, in the case where he or she is married)

    * Uncles of the criminal, as well as their spouses

    * The criminal himself

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: our current society is too civilised to see what's possible

      Familial punishment is alive and well in Israel.

    2. Andy Christ

      Just one little problem widdat

      From the daily bombardment of sensational headlines, one might suspect that the majority of perps have already taken out their own family.

  57. Dr. G. Freeman

    Use them as a food/ organ source, with the leftovers being used for power generation.

    Or going along the military route, load them up with explosives, and send them off to our enemies and remotely detonate them- RL lemmings, anyone ?

    1. Karl H

      food ?

      isn't that Soylent Green ?

  58. Audrey S. Thackeray

    Just the spur they need

    I think there's a waiting list for season tickets at WHL these days but maybe when the new stadium is built there will be room to host some of the worst offenders, each hypnotised to believe they really desire lasting success for the home side.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Send them to Britain

    Send them to Britain or Afganistan.

  60. Karl H

    zx81 ... trying to get an IT angle here....

    1) get an old copy of PC World from about 1982,

    2) get the longest program for the ZX81 that requires the 16K RAM pack

    3) get them to type it in , only for someone to "wobble" the machine as they are near the end of the listing. They need to complete this at least 3 times for every meal.

    4) repeat until they die of either old age or starvation, which ever comes first.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would punish capital offenders by...

    ... forcing them to read all the posts in an online debate about capital punishment.

    That's punishment!

  62. SJRulez

    Stick them in a electric shock suit and put them in a computer game, victims and family can logon chase them around and shoot the hell of them to the tune of a few hundred volts.

  63. Emo

    Fixing the nations roads back to pre-pot hole times.

    Chain gang style.

  64. Chung
    Big Brother

    You're missing the point.

    There’s nothing wrong with capital punishment per se. Like the article says, most objectors object only because of the uncertainty of guilt.

    We need to concentrate our efforts on crime detection... I propose some kind of wand with an LED on the end that turns red when pointed at a guilty person and green when a person is innocent.

    I think that opens the door to gladitatorial 'running man' style TV shows, which seems like the next logical step, given we've all had a fair dose of laughing at mental patients for our Saturday evening entertainment. With the money we save not having to imprison these people, we could abolish the TV license fee while we were at it. Win win win.

  65. Mark 121

    How about

    Nail their feet to the floor, just out of reach of everything.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firstly full restoration where possible (i.e. you steal a car, you pay for car)

    Then Hard labor, its simple really, use them to fix our roads, build new sewers, fix the water supplies...

    Shock collars to keep them in line when they are out of the prison working.

    Basic solitary cells with integral shower, toilet and sink

    That way those who are innocent are not abused, and those who are guilty pay back to society.

    But before all that, we need to fix our justice system, make things clearer.

    The problem is the law is so open to interpretation, its the whim of the police if your arrested for something..

    There are plenty of laws I think need to be revoked, and new ones brought in to protect out rights rather than erode them!

  67. E 2

    My suggestions

    Corrupt politicians and upper level civil servants should be branded on the forehead or cheeks.

    Corrupt financial industry workers should have their nose cut off.

    Corrupt publishers of newspapers and tabloids should have their eyes put out.

    1. Andy Christ

      Re: My suggestions

      I assume that by "corrupt," you mean "all"?

  68. Anonymous Coward

    Lock e'm in a cell with a group of Scientologists (also a good excuse to lock-up the Scientologists).

  69. IglooDude

    Coma penalty

    Medically-induced coma, then strap their body into a device with IVs, oxygen, etc, that will adequately exercise the body's muscles through a combination of electrical stimulation and externally-induced motion. Should keep em "alive" and available for resuscitation if they're cleared of wrongdoing later, much safer for the prison guards in the meantime, and for the condemned prisoner it is still effectively a death sentence (particularly when they know they're actually guilty of the crime and so not likely to be cleared later).

  70. Doug Glass

    Capital punishment ...

    ... permanently deters the one being punished and that's good enough for me. As to those who disagree ... DILLIGAFF?

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Miscarriages of Justice

    "why not handcuff ne'er-do-wells for 30 years to an Apple fanboi in a queue to be the first to buy the latest iPad?"

    Because the compensation the state would have to pay out if it then turned out that the convict was innocent would be astronomic.

    If you're going to argue against death on the basis that there's no undo button when people turn out to be innocent, you can't then ask for criminals to be made to suffer either.

    Imagine the payouts for innocent men flogged and tortured repeatedly by the state for something they didn't do.

    So, either have the conviction (no pun intended) to hang convicts and to hell with the occasional consequences, or just make prisons very clinical places where you just live in a small cell with basic facilities when you're not being used as free labour, pressing number plates, digging fields, sowing mail bags or whatever.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sweet Jesus...'s like the Daily Mail comments section round here, but with slogan t-shits and poorer personal hygeine.

    Oh, and much more fucking smugness.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sweet Jesus...

      t-shiRts, that is...

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enforced capital punishment for spelling and grammar offences

    Misuse of apostrophes? Death.

    Use of 'then' when you actually mean 'than'? Death.

    Using all caps, anywhere? Double death.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: Enforced capital punishment for spelling and grammar offences

      I COULDN'T AGREE MORE! And by Death I mean let the convict's, while alive, slowly be eaten by maggot's. Than again, this might be still too good.

  74. ideapete

    Microsoft Windows customer support rep

    For life

  75. rc


    Shipping them off to Australia worked pretty well for you guys.

    I suppose the window is closed on that deal now though.

  76. Peter Murphy

    I must be really boring.

    People are asking for an alternative to capital punishment. How about good old "life without parole"? It keeps actual criminals away from the general public without executing anybody wrongfully convicted (which happens a lot), while the occasional exonerated prisoner gets the chance to go home.

    And for those that think "life's too good for them"... is it? Staying 50 years behind bars is a lot slower that a quick gassing or organ harvesting. Even at its best, being in prison is boredom squared or cubed, with screws telling you what to do and when to do it. At its worst, it's pretty violent. A lifetime of that would be horrible.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Televised punishment

    Why not have the equivalent of public floggings - you could put it on as part of the dreary National Lootery draw programmes. Tthe numbers drawn determine the nimber of lashes. Not forgetting castration of sex offenders - "let's release those balls!"

  78. MrZoolook


    Get them to write a 5000 word essay on why they commit such attrocities, and then run it through Turnitin until it comes back clean - rewriting if needed.

  79. LateNightLarry
    Paris Hilton


    That, sir, is cruel and unusual punishment, and is prohibited by the US Constitution. If you're not in the US, carry on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Punishment...

      Like the USA actually obeys that rule, have you seen footage inside of US prisons? I say any time in a US prison is cruel and unusual punishment..

  80. wayward4now
    Thumb Down

    This is purely stupid.

  81. ZPO

    LWOP Plus More.....

    If the goal is to avoid executions, then LWOP (Life WithOut Parole) is a required starting point. It has the same effect of ensuring they do not reoffend against the population at large. Assuming a desire to prevent permanent physical damage in case a conviction is later overturned, several options present themselves. At all times, prisoners on an LWOP sentence must be able to request an approved method of suicide. I have a feeling many may opt out early. Failing that...

    1) Make the prison population in general and the LWOP inmates in particular self-supporting.

    - Farming their own food and raising livestock.

    - Building prison furnishings, sewing uniforms, etc.

    - Building new prison facilities.

    2) Make the prison population useful to society

    - Prison industry - The classic US "making license plates" is just the starting point.

    - Public service projects - Bring back the chain gangs.

    3) Make prison an undesirable destination - Take the lead from Sheriff Joe Arpaio

    - No air conditioning

    - Tents outside surrounded by fences and barbed wire

    - No TV, no tobacco, no gym equipment.

    - The only way to get privileges such as increased and better rations is through work.

    - Minimum 12hr daily work day. Seven days a week.

    Cut the costs, make them useful, make prison suck severely.

  82. RipRagged

    Quite Simple

    First of all, we should make all inmates earn any luxury beyond bare subsistence - bare walls, a flat, horizontal surface to sleep on, and unadorned nutrition. Physical work. The kind that is currently done by illegal immigrants. Ten prisoners competing for five steak dinners.

    Make those who have committed capital crimes earn the right to earn luxuries. Have them do jobs the other inmates find distasteful. Have them clean the other inmates' toilets.

    Note: We need to stop putting people in prison for smoking pot. That's just stupid.

  83. Rufe0

    How about prison actually being an unpleasant place to be. Old school style, 23 hours a day in an isolation cell, isolated exercise time. Only bread and water, maybe a multivitamin tablet every now and then but thats it.

  84. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Just reverse the Prison Service and Social Services...

    The standard suggestion is that the prisoners should be put in Old People's Homes.

    There they would watch their assets drift away while they were confined to a little room and fed weak cabbage water twice a day by an uncaring attendant. If they complained about anything they would be fed drugs to keep them comatose.

    Meanwhile, the old people could be put in jail. Here, they would have a little room for visitors, a TV, paid for by the government, heating paid for, free healthcare and prescriptions, laundry done on a regular basis and wardens checking on them every hour or so, to make sure they was not at risk of suicide, ill or in need of medication. They would get their own personal space, three square meals a day – as in a good, healthy breakfast, a tasty two-course lunch and a hearty evening meal, not to mention exercise several times a day.

    If they were to fall over anywhere in the jail, there would be someone on tap to help them back on to their feet and make sure they weren't hurt.

    All for no cost – and no need to change any part of the system....

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Public Humiliation

    And by public I mean, on prime time TV, perhaps on it's own channel.

    Severity of humiliation would depend on the severity of the crime committed. Ranging from a simple appearance with your name, address and a chance to express your apology to the nation as a whole to being made to dress in something inappropriate and made to dance along to "I'm a little teapot" doing all the movements and that.

    Or something.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A couple of suggestions

    Not a joke and slightly off topic, but I think that there is a half way house. There are people for whom consigning them to prison is too harsh and puts them in the range of hardened criminals, but keeping them in social housing with central heating and all the rest of it is not fair on society to be paying out that sort of rent/heating/etc.

    Take an, "offender," a large field, give them a one man tent and tell them to get on with it. Communal shower block, canteen which serves them what society wants to give them for a healthy life, and that's about it.

    If they actually manage to go for interviews and get themselves a job whereby they can then pay their own rent on a place, then let 'em back in to the community.

    Slightly looser controls than prison; otherwise people would be tempted to go the extra mile and head for prison for the better weather/cold protection.

    Also, this technique could be used for families that terrorise their neighbouhood. Society still gives them a form of roof without leaving them destitute. Belongings that they can't keep with them get pawned to help pay for their stay.

    You could, of course, chuck 'em in a strait jacket, strap them to a sack barrow and leave them stacked up against a wall somewhere until it is feeding/exercise time. If you introduce that kind of thing then there would probably be people lining up to deal with the frocking/defrocking for free (so solving the need for extra staff time) but you then face the opposite situation that there would probably be a segment of society that would commit crimes simply to be subjected to that kind of treatment.

  87. b166er

    Ah, sweet barbarism, alive and well in our 'advanced' evolution.

    +1 for the prisoners' pedal power idea.

  88. Crisp Silver badge

    I'm surprised no one has suggested

    I'm surprised no one has suggested that we get doctors and other medical professionals to essentially take them apart and figure out what went wrong them. Who knows how many lives could be saved from that research.

  89. David Cantrell

    Bring back the stocks!

  90. bob 46


    Perhaps the alternative is torture. Something that leaves no lasting (physical) damage, administered on a regular basis, instead of the death penalty.

    Unpalatable perhaps, but maybe a good deterent, and less final than death penalty. Personally wouldn't agree with broadcasting it, but if the details were common knowledge...?

  91. Crash!

    Surely prison is reasonable...

    Whatever the ultimate punishment is will come to represent the ultimate form of justice.

    In Americaland the ultimate form of justice is death; which being a democracy, is undertaken by the people and for the people. Whilst philosophically uncomforable (every citizen being responsible for every execution - correct or otherwise) it has the added effect that quite a large number of the population, who can't be bothered to go through boring and expensive legal proceeding to get justice when they feel they've been wronged, move straight to the ultimate form of justice via shooting. (And before you start quoting the right to arm bears, compare firearms per capita vs. murders for the US and Switzerland).

    Very few people have decided to take justice into their own hands and create a prison for their foe. It's quite an undertaking - the bars on the windows, shopping in Asda for suitably crap food, the soddomy etc... It's something we tend to leave to the state to administer. It's also rectifyable (apart from time lost) if mistakes were made.

    Just lock them up. It's boring and expensive, but it's the best thing a civilised society can do. Anything else and we would become the thing we hate the most...

  92. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    Deterrence DOES NOT WORK

    The "possible" punishment they would suffer "if" they get caught does not occur to most criminals. If it does then most of the time they convince themselves and/or others that it's "worth it".

    The Death Penalty is probably cheaper than keeping someone in pokey for the rest of their natural life. Yes there are moral implications but under the current system they spend most of the day watching TV, reading, working out, getting wasted, and occasionally doing some useful work, all at the taxpayers expense.

    I'm not for or against the Death Penalty but such things need to be considered on a great many levels. Knee jerk reactions against it because someone innocent may be put to death need to be balanced against the chance that this person could be "cured" and released, and STILL re-offend. Both have happened and no doubt will again.

  93. eWill

    Drive them mad !

    1 Turn the kettle of at the wall when there not looking

    2 Write post that misuse there, their and they're.

    Come to think of it, this may only work on my wife and/or english teachers.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death penalty only if no doubt as to guilt or accused agrees to it

    There are occasions where there is abolutely no doubt who has comitted the crime as with Breivik and occasions where the accused admits the crime and belive themselves that they should die.

    For others, they should walk/jog on a large hamster wheel to generate electicity (they don't get fed if they don't complete a set daily quota) and pay back some of their debt to society. If found innocent later, they could get a proportional reduction on their electricity bill...

  95. Keep Refrigerated

    Several steps...

    My plan for the perfect punishment would be bore out over several steps involving a modicum of brainwashing and conditioning:

    Step 1) Give them all iPhones

    Step 2) Release hundreds of exclusive prisoner-only apps and foster a social culture of latte-sipping, photo-sharing and down-nose looking

    Step 3) Force them to watch as their exclusive prisoner-only apps are opened up to the general iPhone Appstore

    Step 4) Force them to endure further humiliation and suffering as the apps are then ported to Android

    Step 5) Repeat steps 1-4

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A play on an old joke

    Stand them in barrel and tell them they can only piss in the corner. Non-anesthetized ECT when they disobey.

  97. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

    There are ...

    ... some depressingly blood-thirsty people on this thread.

  98. aelfheld

    It's a bit chilly,

    but Antarctica would serve nicely as a Coventry.

  99. SJRulez

    I am curious to see what a sensory deprivation tank would do to said prisoner, would a typical 13 year term drive u crazy???

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