Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment
The penalty of death for the
commission of a crime.
Capital- means “head”
History of UK Capital
In the years after the end of the war in 1945, there
were several notable CP cases.
Either due to
•British media,
• The case's use by the pro- or anti-capital punishment
•And the “innocence” of the executed person.
In fact since 1945 three
people have received
posthumous pardons:
Timothy Evans in 1966 and
in 1998 both Mahood
Mattan and Derek Bentley.
After the abolishing of capital
punishment, there have been several
famous cases of miscarriages of justice
which would have resulted in executions,
if that option had been available.
A good example of this is the
Birmingham Six case.
Important Historic Events
• 1808
Samuel Romilly introduced reforms
to abolish CP for crimes
There were more
than 200 CP
offences in the
“Bloody Code”
•1832- 34 abolished for shop lifting
•1861 reduced to 4 crimes –
(Murder, Treason,
Arson in dockyards and Piracy with violence.)
1957 Homicide Act
In 1957, the Homicide Act 1957 was passed. This
restricted capital punishment in murder cases to five
types of murder:
• Murder in the course or furtherance of theft.
• Murder by shooting or causing an explosion.
• Murder while resisting arrest or during an escape.
• Murder of a police officer or prison officer.
• Two murders committed on different occasions.
•1965 abolished for all offences
Capital Punishment Abolished
The last executions in Britain were of two men on 13
August 1964. Peter Anthony Allen, aged 21, was hanged in
Walton gaol, Liverpool and Gwynne Owen Evans, aged 24,
was hanged in Strangeways, Manchester.
They were both convicted of the murder of John Alan
West, while robbing him in his house on 7 April 1964.
• Parliament then voted to abolish the death penalty for
murder for a five-year experiment in 1965.
• Another vote in 1969 finally made the abolition of the
death penalty for murder "permanent" in Great Britain. A
further vote in 1973 abolished it permanently in Northern
• There have been at least 13 attempts to bring back
hanging for various categories of murder since 1969. All
have failed, and the trend has been towards ever greater
majorities in Parliament for abolition.
• In February 1994, a majority of 197 votes defeated a
proposal to reintroduce the death penalty for the murder
of a police officer on duty.
• Since the abolishing of capital punishment for murder, the
death sentence had remained in force for treason and
piracy with violence. The use of capital punishment in these
two instances was abolished in 1998 under the Crime and
Disorder Act.
• On 27 January 1999, the UK Home Secretary (The
Labour MP Jack Straw) signed the 6th protocol of the
European Convention of Human Rights in Strasbourg. This
move formally abolishes the death penalty in the UK
Make a Flash Card entitled
The History of C.P in the UK
Homework for Monday 30th Aug
Describe the important events leading up to the
abolition of Capital Punishment in the United
kingdom. (4)KU
2. Capital punishment is no longer carried out in the UK.
It is, however, still used in other countries.
Name three countries that still use capital punishment
and describe the methods used in each of the
chosen countries
(4) KU