It is wrong for anyone to kill

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would Phil Holberry be so keen to pull the trap-lever if it was a friend or family-member for the drop?

But then it wouldn’t be family, would it, for he’d know they were innocent – like no small number of alleged criminals lucky enough to be in a cell rather than a grave when they were discovered not to be guilty after all.

The wonder-technology DNA has its place, but even the scientist who pioneered it predicted that relying on it would produce more miscarriages of justice.

But state-sponsored murder of the wrong people is the least of it. Putting aside that it offers no deterrent (abolition did not produce more murders), that it is a punishment not of the criminal but of those close to them and that it is the kind of savagery practised by despots and dictators, the central case against it is that killing people is wrong. That is why we call it a crime and punish people for it.

It doesn’t become right just because it’s done anonymously by society as a whole, no matter how willing the executioner.

J Robin Hughes, Worrall

Can I put my name down as the second person to be hangman? I know of a paedophile who got a year and 10 years on the register. That was eight years ago, so only two more and he can apply for jobs with children. Yet the family, especially the girl victim, have to serve life. They should brand their faces. The family was told they could not tell local schools his name because of his human rights. He isn’t human, he’s scum. Anyway, the schools were told and pictures of him put up in the area.

LF, Sheffield