Reads like a sci-fi novel

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When I saw the headline ‘Too many in our prisons’ on December 9 I thought, at last someone understands prisons are overcrowded, and we need to change our penal policies.

Too many people go to jail in this country – ‘bang ‘em up and throw the key away’. While in Holland they actually rehabilitate offenders and are closing prisons down.

Imagine my surprise when I read Mr Chambers’ letter and saw it was a call for the return of the death penalty.

We’ve been debating capital punishment since the beginning of time (well, since 1969), so I’ll spare you the usual arguments.

But I will mention my late uncle, who desperately wanted the restoration of the death penalty.

He was convinced it would solve all the problems in society.

He always claimed the abolition of hanging was a plot of liberal intellectuals to deny ordinary people what they wanted.

While there’s a sort of logic to Mr Chambers’ view that executing prisoners would save the government a lot of money, his opponents (ie the liberal establishment I’ve just mentioned) will argue the state shouldn’t kill people as a money-saving exercise.

His idea of harvesting prisoners’ body organs for transplants is so bizarre, it actually is the theme of a sinister sci-fi novel I’ve just read.

My advice to Mr Chambers is to campaign for a referendum.

C J Napier