Wednesday, August 13, 2008

on this day

in 1964, the last hangings in Britain took place when two men were executed for murder at Liverpool and Manchester. Peter Allen, in Liverpool, and John Walby, in Manchester.

Allen and Evans were both tried together at Manchester Crown Court in June 1964, for the capital murder of John West (murder in the course or furtherance of theft). During the trial, the judge posed the question to the jury of whether it was Allen or Evans who committed the murder. The jury found both men guilty of murder, and they were both sentenced to death by hanging.

Gwynne Owen Evans was hanged at Manchester's Strangeways Prison on 13 August 1964. At the same time, Peter Allen was hanged at Liverpool's Walton Prison. So no one person can claim to have been the last person executed in the UK.

I changed my mind about the death penalty about 20 years ago, mainly on the basis that you cannot put it right if the conviction is found to be unsafe. However, seeing some of the things that are going on I have my conviction tested to breaking point at times.

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