Category Politics

Against the Death Penalty

I was angered by the executions of eight prisoners recently by Indonesia. I’ve been strongly opposed to the death penalty my entire life; it was the very first political issue I took a position on, and though many of my other political views are in a state of flux I am practically certain that this one won’t change.

The thought that these people were shot through the heart – deliberately and permanently destroyed after ten years of successful rehabilitation for a stupid mistake is deeply sickening, and I fail to see how anyone could be content about it. However, many people seem to have no problem with what happened, and I’ve read various defenses of the killings. I’ll briefly deal with the main ones.

The Criminality of a Schoolgirl’s Silly Tweets

The police and crime commissioner for Kent, Ann Barnes, recently appointed, as she pledged during her campaign, (now) 17 year old Paris Brown to the role of youth PCC so that she can represent younger people and offer insight into the problem of youth crime.

Yesterday, she resigned under pressure, as a result of media scrutiny over her Twitter activity. You can read some of the tweets here. Yes, they’re silly and obnoxious. However, they were sent by someone no older than 16, and while it’s easy to criticise them, I wouldn’t want anyone looking over my text messages I was sending when I was 16.

Still, there’s a valid concern over someone who is in a position of such responsibility, presumably on merit, conducting herself in that way. She’s young and has a lot to learn (as most 16 year-olds do). I’m not really interested in her suitability for the position – and it seems there are arguments on each side.

What really got my back up was this decision; for Kent Police to investigate her tweets for ‘criminal’ content.