THE Catholic Truth Society has lent its voice to the debate this week as to whether the death penalty should be restored following Sir Ian Percival's attempt to amend the Criminal Justice Bill so that in future a particular case of murder, if judged "evil" by the jury, may result in the execution of the defendant.
The initiative has gained the support of about 130 MPs, among them Catholic MP Sir John Biggs-Davison who voted in favour of the abolition of the death penalty but who, "in the light of experience," now thinks that it should be available.
"The growth of premeditated murder and the enormous increase in armed crime necessitates such legislation," said Sir John who said that without it armed robbers have the "incentive" to pull the trigger when faced with the law.
The CTS pamphlet, entitled Capital Punishment: What does the Church Teach? recognises the role of the death penalty in "protecting society" but denies that there is a case for its restoration in England today.
Liberal MP David Alton shared this view saying: "The public get confused that a general increase in lesser crimes carries with it a proportional increase in the murder rate."