e-petitions

It seems that the 3 most popular topics on the new e-petition site are -

  1. Should we bring back the death penalty
  2. Should we have a referendum on leaving the EU
  3. And oddly - Should we keep F1 on free to air TV.

 

Should there in fact be a petition to force MPs to actually abide by the voters demands and not merely chat about them in parliament before doing whatever they want regardless of the number of taxpayers votes?

Is this actually democratic, or just a ploy to fobb off irate taxpayers by giving the impression of consultin with us?

How would you vote on the above 3 top topics (well the top 2 anyway) ?

 

 

Comments
Paul Scholes's picture

4 wot it's worth (sitting here about to go home)

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

1. Over my dead body

2. No - as I doubt I'll ever live outside it

3. What's F1 (is it a posh way of saying goodness gracious?)

Top_Cat's picture

 

Top_Cat | | Permalink

 

1. Over my dead body

If you were ever wrongly convicted it might be exactly that.

 

 

2. No - as I doubt I'll ever live outside it

Do you really think it would make any difference to the man in the street?

 

 

3. What's F1 

Its when 3 or 4 racing drivers and about 20 glorified taxi drivers, drive round a track for 2 hours, and whine and complain if someone else passes them.

 

Paul Scholes's picture

2. Leaving EU

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

Oh I see, I thought it was about us all moving away from Europe.....still I don't think there's any point PLUS and I'm sure you always forget this, it's not the men you need to worry about

ShirleyM's picture

Injustice    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

They are damned difficult questions!!!!!!

I'll tackle the first one for now.

I must admit, it makes my blood boil when the likes of Myra Hindley get a comfortable 2 room cell, TV, computer, the opportunity to gain loads of educational degrees, and all the other perks of heating and regular meals, while old folks struggle to heat their homes and eat. When I think of the likes of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady, I think the death sentence is a sensible decision ....  but then I think of all the mistakes and injustices that have ocurred in the past, although I doubt there was mistake with Hindley & Brady.

I think the rights of prisoners and criminals are greater than those of their victims, and this angers many people (myself included). I am sure someone will confirm whether this info is correct, but I read that  injury compensation for prisoners is higher than that received by workers. The law is totally crazy in this respect!

Another thing that annoys the public is that life sentences mean absolutely nothing these days, and then they are out to kill again. Prison isn't just a punishment. It is meant to keep the public safe from these evil people.

A good compromise would be to put them in a permanent coma until they die of natural causes (unless cryogenics is a possibility?) Where there is no doubt whatsoever (and I am not sure how many killers this would include) then I think the really evil people should be put down painlessly by injection, and that is giving them far more compassion than they gave their victims.

 

Top_Cat's picture

Death penalty

Top_Cat | | Permalink

 

I don't agree with all you say ShirleyM. Quite simply, in my view, there should be separate "catagory A+" prisons where murderers /terrorists etc are kept with minimal luxuries.

However, we must be careful about denying them opportunities for study as many wrongly convicted people have been instrumental in proving their own innocence.

I've spent 40 years involved with an organisation battling against the Death Penalty, particularly in the USA. We look at miscarriages of justice, and in the last 25 years in the USA ONE HUNDRED innocent people have been wrongly executed.
Every one of these victims has been PROVEN to have been innocent and was therefore MURDERED by "the state".

Over 113 people on death row have been exonerated since 1973.
A staggering 68% of death penalty convictions between 1973 and 1995 were reversed.

The rather disturbing statistics for the USA can be found here - http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/FactSheet.pdf 

What is most staggering is that the USA is one of the few Western nations not to fully abide by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet, claims to champion "democrasy". I could point to at least 10 people in the UK, all released in recent years after being proven to be entirely innocent, who would be dead if we had the death penalty.

And don't ever believe the total B/S about executions being "humane" - the average time taken for a prisoner to die by lethal injection is TWENTY MINUTES. After hanging the brain does not die for up to AN HOUR. The Gas Chamber & Electric chair can take up to 15 minutes. No one can really comment until they have witnessed this barbaric procedure for themselves. And remember, in the last 25 years ONE HUNDRED INNOCENT PEOPLE have been butchered like this.
Thats FOUR EVERY YEAR.

Capital punishment is barbaric, unacceptable, disgusting, and has no place in any civilised society.
 

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/930 

 

ShirleyM's picture

You are far more interested in this than I am    2 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Yes, capital punishment is barbaric, unacceptable and disgusting, and so are the crimes that get them into that horrendous situation. My sympathies lie with the victims and their families, and that will never, ever, change.

I'm not on a soapbox, and my knowledge isn't good enough to disagree with you, but I find a lot of what you say very difficult to swallow.

20 minutes to die from lethal injection? Possible, but not necessary and not likely. I have had 2 very large horses destroyed by lethal injection at two different times, but the experience was the same (we had no choice as they were suffering and couldn't be helped). They each weighed over 1/2 ton and they went down in seconds. Once they were down and unconscious, and totally pain free, they were given additional anaesthetic. Their hearts stopped within a minute or two. I was with them every step of the way so it isn't hearsay. If a 1/2 ton animal can go so quickly, then I find it very difficult to believe a human would take longer ... unless it was planned! I suppose only those present would know the real truth, but even if it did take 20 minutes it does not mean that they suffered. I think most of us have had a general anaesthetic at some time, and have known absolutely nothing within a couple of seconds of being administered with the anaesthetic?

So seeing as I am having such great difficulty believing one point you made, it makes me question the rest.

That's it for me .... it's just too depressing. I'll leave you to chat with people who agree with you.

Top_Cat's picture

How about a few facts and examples ?    2 thanks

Top_Cat | | Permalink

Execution by lethal injection takes much longer from start to finish than any other method, typically 30-45 minutes, depending on the execution protocol and ease or otherwise of locating a vein. For the majority of this time, the inmate receiving a lethal injection is fully aware of what is happening to them and able to experience their execution. They know that they will be dead at the end of it and the fear of suffering (particularly in front of an audience) and of the unknown, is strong in most of us. It is difficult to see, therefore, how it can be considered more humane, as the prisoner is subjected to far more mental anguish over a longer period.
 

 

March 14th, 1984 James Autrey. Texas.
Autrey took at least 10 minutes to die after the chemicals began to be injected. Throughout much of those 10 minutes, he was fully conscious and complained of pain. This was caused by the catheters clogging so delaying the transmission of the chemicals. It is also probable that the needle either did not enter the vein or passed through it. When the lethal chemicals enter the muscles instead, they cause considerable pain.

March 13th, 1985. Stephen Peter Morin. Texas.
Technicians had to probe both arms and legs with needles for 45 minutes before they found the vein.

August 20th, 1986 Randy Woolls. Texas.
A drug addict, Woolls, had to help the execution technicians find a good vein for the execution.

June 24th, 1987 Elliot Johnson. Texas.
It took 35 minutes to insert the catheter into his vein.

December 13th, 1988 Raymond Landry. Texas.
Pronounced dead 40 minutes after being strapped to the execution gurney and 24 minutes after the drugs first started flowing into his arms. Two minutes into the execution, the catheter came out of Landry's vein, spraying the chemicals across the room towards witnesses. The execution team had to reinsert the catheter into the vein. The curtain was closed for 14 minutes so witnesses could not observe the intermission.

May 24th, 1989. Stephen McCoy. Texas.
McCoy had such a violent physical reaction to the drugs (heaving chest, gasping, choking, etc.) that one of the witnesses (male) fainted, crashing into and knocking over another witness. The Texas Attorney General admitted the inmate "seemed to have somewhat stronger reaction," adding, "The drugs might have been administered in a heavier dose or more rapidly."

September 12th, 1990. Charles Walker. Illinois.
According to Dr. Edward A. Brunner, over five minutes after the activation of Illinois's lethal injection machine and more than two minutes after the plungers had injected the chemicals, Walker’s heart had not stopped, the Illinois Department of Corrections officials ordered the viewing blinds closed. The witnesses were not aware that Walker had not died and were not told that there was a problem.
Without removing Walker from the equipment, officials inspected the equipment and discovered a kink in the intravenous line. They straightened out the line, and a short time later Walker's heart stopped.

January 24th, 1992. Rickey Ray Rector. Arkansas.
It took medical staff more than 50 minutes to find a suitable vein in Rector's arm. Witnesses were not permitted to view this scene but reported hearing Rector's loud moans throughout the process. During the ordeal, Rector tried to help the medical personnel find a vein. Attendants were about to prepare a "cut-down," when a vein in his right hand was finally discovered - an hour after the procedure began. The administrator of the Arkansas Department of Corrections medical programs said (paraphrased by a newspaper reporter), "the moans did come as a team of two medical people that had grown to 5 worked on both sides of his body to find a vein."

March 10th, 1992. Robyn Lee Parks. Oklahoma.
Parks had a violent reaction to the drugs. Two minutes after the drugs were administered, the muscles in his jaws, neck, and abdomen began to react spasmodically for approximately 45 seconds. Parks continued to gasp and violently gag. Death came 11 minutes after the drugs were administered. Wayne Greene a reporter on the Tulsa World newspaper described Park's execution as looking "scary and ugly."

April 23rd, 1992. Billy Wayne White. Texas.
It took 47 minutes for the prison staff to find a suitable vein, and White eventually had to help them.

May 7th, 1992. Justin Lee May. Texas.
May had an unusually violent reaction to the lethal drugs. According to Robert Wernsman, a reporter for the Huntsville newspaper, The Item, May gasped, coughed and reared against his heavy leather restraints, coughing once again before his body froze. Associated Press reporter Michael Graczyk wrote, "He went into a coughing spasm, groaned and gasped, lifted his head from the death chamber gurney and would have arched his back if he had not been belted down. After he stopped breathing, his eyes and mouth remained open."

May 10th, 1994. John Wayne Gacy. Illinois.
John Wayne Gacy, who had tortured and murdered 33 young men and boys during the 1970’s, was executed by lethal injection at the Stateville penitentiary in Joliet, Illinois.
After the injection began, one of the three drugs clogged the tube leading into Gacy's arm, and therefore stopped flowing. Blinds covering the window through which witnesses observed the execution were then drawn. The clogged tube was replaced with a new one, the blinds were opened and the execution process resumed. Gacy actually took 18 minutes to die. Anaesthesiologists blamed the problem on the inexperience of prison officials who were conducting the execution, saying that proper procedures would have prevented the error.

May 3rd, 1995. Emmitt Foster. Missouri.
Foster was not pronounced dead until 30 minutes after the flow of chemicals began into his arms. After seven minutes, the blinds were closed to prohibit the witnesses from viewing the scene. They were not reopened until three minutes after death pronounced. According to the coroner who pronounced death, the problem was caused by the tightness of the leather straps that bound Foster to the execution gurney. It was so tight that the flow of chemicals into the veins was restricted. It was several minutes after a prison worker finally loosened the strap that death was pronounced. The coroner entered the death chamber 20 minutes after the execution began, noticed the problem, and told the officials to loosen the strap so then the execution could proceed.

May 3rd, 2000. Christina Marie Riggs, Arkansas.
Christina Marie Riggs was the first woman to be executed in the state of Arkansas. The execution began 18 minutes late because of the difficulty in finding a suitable vein to insert the catheters into. She agreed to have the catheters placed in veins in her wrists. It is not unusual for the prisoner to have help staff in this way.

February 5th 2006 Joseph Lewis Clark, Ohio.
Prison staff took 22 minutes to initially insert a single IV line, but Clark's vein collapsed 3-4 minutes later and he raised his head and cried out “It don’t work. It don’t work.” It took the execution team a further half hour to find another vein and he was eventually pronounced dead 90 minutes after the execution had begun.

December 13th, 2006. Angel Nieves Diaz, Florida.
Diaz took 34 minutes to die and required a second injection when the needle went through his vein rather than into it. His arms showed burn marks from the chemicals.

September 15th, 2009 Rommel Broom Ohio.
Technicians spent two hours trying to find a usable vein to inject into before Governor Strickland ordered a stay for Broom. He was reportedly traumatised by this. This led to Ohio adopting a single drug injection protocol with a back up procedure of two drugs given intra-muscularly if a vein cannot be found (see above). 

BKD's picture

Discussion group    1 thanks

BKD | | Permalink

[comment removed by mod - reported post]

frankie's picture

[removed by mod]    3 thanks

frankie | | Permalink

[removed by mod - reported post]

Old Greying Accountant's picture

My view, for what it's worth

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink
  1. Not under any circumstance
  2. Not necessarily leave, but re-negotiate the terms certainly
  3. Couldn't give a stuff about F1, extended highlights more than adequate - if you were talking any England sports team, home or away, all should be free to view live - it should be a condition for allowing the organisers of the national teams to use the "England" brand. Same for any home nation side, if anyone really wants to see them they should be able to do so for free.

Very emotive issues

Marion Hayes | | Permalink

My opinions are:

1. No

2. Yes - but they didn't listen to me last time so why would they now?

3.Other advertising is free?

 

Marion

Easy    1 thanks

PennyC | | Permalink
  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Yes
Top_Cat's picture

Penny

Top_Cat | | Permalink

That simple Penny ?

On (1) I will never agree with you - too much knowledge of how badly it can go wrong (and how often).

On (2) I dont think its so simple - we should move back to a common market, but not leave entirely.

On (3) I agree - why do we pay for the BBC if its not going to show the things customers want?

 

Yes, it is that simple    1 thanks

PennyC | | Permalink

You asked how one would vote on the three questions asked, not to suggest alternative questions, perhaps with more complex scenarios or additional response options

 

  1. Use of the death penalty should, in my view, be available in circumstances but limited in the extreme. So given a yes/no choice my response has to be yes.
  2. I never indicated how I would vote in a referendum, but I do believe the public should be given the opportunity to make their feelings known.
  3. Agreed, so no further comment required.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not going to get drawn into an argument about the merits for and against the death penalty (nor indeed the other 2 points). You asked how one would vote on the 3 questions - let's leave it at that.

Top_Cat's picture

-

Top_Cat | | Permalink

I don't think there are definative answers to (1) & (2). (3) is a no-brainer.  

 

Whilst the death sentence may be desirable I just don't see how we can ever be certain that mistakes wont happen, and just one mistake is too much.

 

The EU calls for the ability to predict the future, which unfortunately none of us can do. My personal view is that it has gone too far too fast, and is nothing like what was originally vote for (the common market).

 

As for the BBC - get rid of the licence (tax) and make the BBC stand on its own feet like every other channel.

 

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I'm sorry, but

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... IMVHO there are no possible situatons where the death penalty can be justifiable, however heinous the crime and absolute the proof of guilt. Two wrongs make two wrongs.

Most of the talk is of certain extreme cases where it would be warranted, those are unlikely to be cases where the absence or not of a death penalty would have prevented the crime . It is therefore not a deterent, it is revenge pure and simple and has no place in a mature society. We need to look more at the why's and the how's in the first place because invariably these crimes occur because society has failed in these cases.

Flash Gordon's picture

My answers

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

1, Yes and no - arguments for and against, mainly re the potential of executing the wrong person and the possibility of a murderer killing more people (before being caught) as they know they'll be executed anyway so have nothing to lose. It might be no if life sentences meant life and without a cushy number but judges seem to vary so much.

2, Don't care because even if there was a referendum I doubt it would change anything.

3, I'd rather swap F1 for World's Strongest Man which can now only be seen on pay through the nose tv instead of being my staple Christmas & New Year holiday viewing!

ps Just read Old Greying's last post re revenge and I can see his point (was thinking of you earlier Old One as I had howling wolves on my ipod!)....

Top_Cat's picture

Prejudice

Top_Cat | | Permalink

Just another point. In the States the jury decides on the death penalty - not the judge. 

i cant recall the exact figures but something like 80% of black defendants convicted of murder are given the death penalty, whereas for white defendants its something like 20%.

With prejudice like that it makes you wonder how often the actual conviction is also based more on prejudices than on evidence.

BKD's picture

Britain's Got Talent

BKD | | Permalink

In other words, "that's 3 Yesses"

Flash Gordon's picture

Lalalalala

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

Please don't tell me we're going to see Simon Cowell on another show!!

ShirleyM's picture

Simon is already here    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

.... but has disguised his identity (aka Mike Bassy) ...... he is seeking exceptionally talented accountants :)

Top_Cat's picture

-

Top_Cat | | Permalink

 ShirleyM PM | Mon, 08/08/2011 - 18:29  - Simon is already here ... but has disguised his identity (aka Mike Bassy) ...... he is seeking exceptionally talented accountants :)  .......................................................................................................................Well if thats true I guess after my comment about sending kids up chimneys, I didnt make it to the next round :( 

BKD's picture

To be accurate

BKD | | Permalink

BKD wrote:

[comment removed by mod - reported post]

Removed because I asked

mwngiol's picture

Hmm

mwngiol | | Permalink

1 No, never, not any under circumstances. "Killing is wrong, and to prove the point we're going to kill you". Fundamentally flawed logic in my opinion.

2. Yes but I'd vote no.

3. Yes. But as a side note I think there should maybe be an additional optional licence fee to help fund the BBC getting more sport and replacing BBC3 or BBC4 with a BBC Sport channel. I think sport should be made available to as wide an audience as possible. Or it should be at least considered as an option because the current trend of any sport going to Sky once it gets a decent audience needs to be halted.

I thought I read on the BBC website that the most popular e-petition was one calling for benefits to be stopped for those found to be involved in the recent rioting etc.

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