Over 41 per cent of Scots would like return of death penalty

Henry John Burnett, the last man to be hanged in Scotland at HMP Aberdeen, with an unknown woman. Picture: SWNS
Henry John Burnett, the last man to be hanged in Scotland at HMP Aberdeen, with an unknown woman. Picture: SWNS
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A poll for the Times has found that 1.8 million Scots would support the reintroduction of death penalties for murderers.

According to a YouGov poll for The Times questioning 1,059 Scots, 41 per cent of the population, or 1.8 million people, would support the death penalty for murderers being reintroduced.

A marginally higher percentage of the population, 44 per cent of Scots, would continue to oppose the death penalty, whilst 15 per cent of voters were unsure.

The poll indicated that those who were more likely to back state execution were people who voted Leave in the 2016 EU referendum and older people, by 65 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.

A previous poll by YouGov from 2017 showed that 53 per cent of Leave voters UK-wide wanted to revive the death penalty, which is 12 per cent less than Leave voters in Scotland this year.

Scottish citizens who backed Yes in the 2014 Independence referendum and Unionist were slightly less supportive, with the former polling at 44 per cent and the latter voting 42 per cent.

Although Scotland tops European rates of imprisonment, several reforms have been put in place to support reintegration and rehabilitation, including the vote against ineffective short prison sentences of 12 months or less which MSPs voted on in June this year, which aims to increase more effective methods of both addressing offending and rehabilitation, like Community Payback Orders (CPOs).

The last man hanged in Scotland was Henry John Burnett, who was sentenced to death by the high court in Aberdeen for the murder of merchant seaman Thomas Guyanat and was executed at HM Prison, Craiginches, Aberdeen, aged 21.