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To question my long held beliefs against capital punishment after what happened to Alesha MacPhail

(350 Posts)
Noteventhebirdsareupyet Sat 23-Mar-19 08:42:50

Hi all,

I have recently been really shaken by the Alesha MacPhailcase and possibly because I now have a tiny daughter of my own, I am feeling really affected by what has happened.

I have always had reasonably strong views against capital punishment and have often argued that:

No one has the right to take the life of another.

When capital punishment is lawful, mistakes are made and innocent people get killed.

We are supposedly a civilised society.

Often offenders were victims first and therefore need empathy and have been failed by the system.....

However I am now shocked to find myself thinking that if a person can do the things that Aaron Campbell has done to a tiny, innocent girl and show absolutely no remorse, then perhaps instead of spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money keeping him incarcerated and then putting communities at risk upon his release, maybe we as a society should say that this person is intrinsically evil and has no place among us.

I honestly never imagined myself feeling like this and maybe it is because I am now a mother that I do. Surely people like him don't deserve a second chance and should be killed before they ruin more lives.

Am I being unreasonable to feel like this? Has anyone else had a turning point like me? I feel that my family and friends would be a bit shocked to hear me say "let's kill dangerous criminals" but this incident has had a profound effect on my outlook and I feel like I can't voice my opinions out loud.

Hefzi Sat 23-Mar-19 08:44:40

Voice your opinions out loud, why not? It's the sign of a mature intellect to accept that opinions can change in the light of new/different material.

LegoPiecesEverywhere Sat 23-Mar-19 08:47:07

I don’t believe in capital punishments but life should mean life with no comfort at a low cost to the tax payer.

MsVestibule Sat 23-Mar-19 08:49:55

Feel free to voice them, but I'll still think you're wrong, for most of the reasons you've outlined in the first half of your post.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Sat 23-Mar-19 08:50:50

Children killing children, the answer isn't killing another child. That does not balance out the cosmos I'm afraid.

Anyone who promotes such medieval ideas sounds like a page from an ISIS training manual.

BillywigSting Sat 23-Mar-19 08:54:40

I still disagree strongly with capital punishment, I think it is vengeance rather than justice and yes innocent people get killed when it is lawful. That's the big sticking point for me.

I think people like him should be put to hard labour for life, and that life should mean life, not 20 years or so.

People like him may well be evil and have no place in our society, but I think it says a lot about our society if we are willing to kill them

Graphista Sat 23-Mar-19 08:54:40

What legopieces said.

I don't believe in capital punishment for different reasons

Not stooping to the level of these bastards

Death is an easy out for them, let them live and suffer. This one appears to have no conscience at all so his guilt won't bother him unfortunately. But he was so desperately avoiding prison I can only hope it's his hell.

I'm not far from where this happened, whatever I think I'll be very surprised if he lasts 5 years anyway, some kind of "accident" will befall him I suspect.

It's alesha and her parents & loved ones I feel for, I can't imagine how utterly distraught they must be.

Inliverpool1 Sat 23-Mar-19 08:54:43

He’s not right in the head is he. I worry as a society how we’ve missed that. I don’t want other mentally ill people state murdered either so whilst I don’t know what the answer is, I don’t think he should ever be released I don’t actually think a life on bread and water is going to help.

Sitdownstandup Sat 23-Mar-19 08:56:04

I understand your anger. There are a great many people whose absence the planet would benefit from, and if this one had a fatal heart attack today I would not be sorry.

However, the right not to be killed by the state, particularly given that there would be some mistakes, is too important for me to be willing to give up just because of this piece of shit.

OwlinaTree Sat 23-Mar-19 08:56:43

Horrendous case. I've only read a bit on the BBC website but sounds like he's got some mental health issues and can't separate reality and fantasy.

It's quite clear in the sentencing he may never be released.

I don't believe in capital punishment, but I've never been victim of such a horrendous crime. Maybe if I was I might feel differently.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Sat 23-Mar-19 08:57:12

This whole case opens up a can or worms; the childs father being a drug dealer and supplying the lad, who went on to kills.

funnylittlefloozie Sat 23-Mar-19 08:58:25

I dont blame you one little bit for questioning your belief. Cases like this make me want to bring back the death penalty as well... even though i dont believe in it, dont believe it is a societal deterrent blah blah blah. That poor little girl and her poor mum...

I think the Campbell boy will have an awful time inside, and i can't say i'm sorry about that.

eddiemairswife Sat 23-Mar-19 08:59:30

We didn't hang 16 year olds when we had it.

Noteventhebirdsareupyet Sat 23-Mar-19 08:59:32


What about when he is released, he could be as young as 42, he could have the right to enjoy half of his life as a free man. Surely that is not right either.

It's not about balancing the cosmos at all, it's about saying that this person doesn't deserve to live and quite possibly put more children at risk. It's an adult crime that he has committed and whether you think I belong in ISIS or not, I would rather see him dead in a heartbeat than released and living among any community.

So I suppose rather than punishment, for me it's about mitigating future risks and just saying that this person has no right to life.

That is actually a new thought, this thread is helping me understand myself better already. Thanks for your contributions so far.

Sitdownstandup Sat 23-Mar-19 08:59:38

I'm not sure it would function as much of a deterrent, especially not in cases like this. There isn't any evidence that introducing it has any positive impact on crime rates.

LateEaster Sat 23-Mar-19 08:59:50

What hefzi said.

Cerseilannisterinthesnow Sat 23-Mar-19 09:00:39

After seeing the video of the sentencing online and hearing what the judge had to say e.g. that Aaron Campbell struggled to keep from laughing during the course of the hearing, showed no empathy or remorse during his evaluation with the psychiatrist and then hearing the poor mother sobbing during the sentencing I am inclined to agree with you but my more moral side has to agree with other posters that life should be life and at no comfort whatsoever. I don’t think he will ever be released though

HelloToMyKitty Sat 23-Mar-19 09:01:32

I know what you mean OP. My views have hardened as of late, especially where it concerns crimes against children. I am starting to think that it should be available in rare cases. That said, I do come from a country where death penalty is around in some areas and there have definitely been some miscarriages of justice. But I don’t think that necessarily has to be the case.

let them live and suffer

They don’t, though, so they?

Antigonads Sat 23-Mar-19 09:01:59

I was shocked at his 27 year sentence. Should be life. And medical castration.

echt Sat 23-Mar-19 09:04:17


For every sentence that feels "safe" as this one where he has admitted his guilt, and there has been, apparently overwhelming evidence, there are those have admitted guilt under duress/had shit lawyers/shown/not shown remorse. Where do they stand?

Your being a mother means zip in terms of justice, unless you're advancing this as some enhanced insight into right-thinking. Which it isn't.

If anyone killed my DC, I'd like free range with a baseball bat. It would be wrong for me to be permitted this.

Cerseilannisterinthesnow Sat 23-Mar-19 09:04:58

Judge states he was found to have no mental health issues

MrsJayy Sat 23-Mar-19 09:05:40

First of all I don't think he will ever be released his sentence will be reviewed once he is up for parole, I think you are right though living is too good for him.

Nicknacky Sat 23-Mar-19 09:08:03

He has got life. It doesn’t mean he will be released after 27 years, it’s not automatic. In fact, Lord Matthew did stress he didn’t think Campbell be rehabilitated.

And for the posters who are mentioning mental health, Lord Matthews did pass comment that he has no mental health conditions.

I appreciate the emotion behind this case, I feel it two and have colleagues who were on the enquiry team but the comments about capital punishment don’t help.

Regards what we think about Campbell, he would have been executed when we did have the death penalty.

Sitdownstandup Sat 23-Mar-19 09:08:38

That said, I do come from a country where death penalty is around in some areas and there have definitely been some miscarriages of justice. But I don’t think that necessarily has to be the case.

It's a system run by humans, so there are going to be errors. It's all very well people coming up with conditions to make sure it can only happen in very rare, cast iron cases, but they're not going to be followed. Not just because people make mistakes, but because criminal justice is hugely politicised. We already know that we live in a country where we do things like try 10 year olds as adults because of the hideousness of their crimes, ie we will get rid of safeguards if we are sufficiently disgusted and the public make enough of a fuss about it.

Katterinaballerina Sat 23-Mar-19 09:08:40

As above,

‘Lord Matthews said the reports concluded that Campbell was not suffering from a mental health disorder but showed a total lack of victim empathy’

Please can people stop saying that people who do appalling things have mental health issues. Most people with mental health issues are only a risk for self harm.

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