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Last Updated: Monday January 14 2008 06:35 GMT

Do you agree with the death penalty?

A prison cell door

A Scottish man who's spent nearly half his life on death row in America has been released so he can return to the UK.

Kenny Richey was sentenced to death for starting a fire in which a two-year-old girl died - but he always denied having anything to do with the crime.

In some countries it is legal to kill someone if they're found guilty of a very bad crime, but it's not legal in the UK.

Lots of people can't decide whether the death penalty is right or wrong, but what do you think?

Should people being given the death sentence for a terrible crime? Or do you think it's too risky in case there's a chance they weren't guilty?

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your Comments

"I only agree with the death penalty if there is no chance they're innocent. The killer should stay in prison until proved guilty or innocent."

James, 11, Edinburgh, Scotland

"Why do you think it was banned from England if it's not wrong?!"

Francesca, 11, Dudley, England

"I don't think it's a good idea because everyone has a right to live and sometimes the police can get the wrong person. I think for murder you should be jailed for life not killed."

Comhall, 10, Dublin, Ireland

"I agree because some people can just have one year in prison and come out and do the same thing! It stops people from doing it again."

Tuti, 8, Southampton, England

"No, I don't agree with the death penalty! EVERYBODY should get a second chance!"

Racheal, 12, Maisons-Laffitte, France

"I agree because if that person has committed murder then surely they should be killed themselves? But I think they should serve at least two years in prison first so they can live with the guilt of killing someone."

Mollz, 12, Devon, England

"I think they should pay a fine or go to jail for two years, but not die."

Pratheep, 10, Greater London, England

"Well yes and no. If they have murdered someone then I think they deserve it, but if it's stealing or anything else, then no."

Anna, 10, London, England

"It's wrong, if you're condemning someone for taking somebody else's life then why take their life? It's hypocritical, and there have been many cases where the suspect has been sentenced to death and then found innocent."

Emma, 12, Harrow, England

"I agree with the death penalty because if the person has killed someone then the person that died doesn't get a whole life so the killer shouldn't get their life."

Lily, 13, Liverpool, England

"I don't agree with the death penalty because I think it is less suffering if you were dead than if you were in prison for a long time."

Kelly, 11, Durham, England

"When evidence is absolutely concrete, with no chance of the person being innocent and for extreme cases, yes it could be used. But it's morally wrong so I'm against it."

Rory, 10, Burren, Ireland

"I don't think they should be killed because two wrongs don't make a right but they should be sent to jail for the rest of their life."

Elena, 10, Bangor, Wales

"Even the most despicable, low life criminal doesn't deserve death. You don't say "That was so wrong of you to kill them" and then kill them as well! This is the 21st century, not the Tudors!"

Hannah, 12, Petersfield, England

"Isn't a long period of time in prison worse anyway? That way you have to live with your guilt. You hear about people killing themselves in prison so obviously it's not a nice place to be. Isn't it a worse punishment?"

Hannah, 11, Birmingham, England

"Execution should have been banned completely ages ago. Just because someone has done something wrong doesn't mean they should die, no-one deserves to be killed."

Lauren, 10, Glamorgan, Wales

"I always say, "An eye for an eye and life for a life". If they're proved to be guilty of murdering someone, they deserve to die. The death penalty should be brought back in my opinion."

Madi, 13, Wales

"I don't agree with death to a person full stop! That person may have committed an awful crime but it was only that person that committed it and it wouldn't only be him who suffers for it. People forget about the families behind the person and how they are affected because it is them that has to live through it, not only the criminal."

Johnny, 12, London, England

"I think that there shouldn't be a death penalty but a punishment like being jailed for life and cleaning toilets at the same time!"

Amira, 12, Bradford, England

"Nobody has the right to take someone else's life. Murdering someone is still wrong but the death penalty is murder as much as a person being killed is."

Tom, 12, London, England

"It is wrong because, if the person who is going to be killed is innocent, then it would be very unfair."

Zahira, 11, London, England

"I think they should just be sent to prison. I don't think they should be put to death."

Anna, 8, Warwick, England

"I think that the death penalty is wrong. No-one deserves death."

Sarah, 10, Leeds, England

"Even if they did something wrong, nobody deserves to die."

Jack, 12, Mandelieu, France

"If that person has done something evil or something severely wrong then yes - they should have the death penalty."

Zara, 10, Crawley, England

"I find it unfair, yes they killed people - but killing isn't the answer"

Georgina, 9, Bath, England

"It is wrong and you are just sinking down to their level."

Abi, 12, Blackpool, England

"I think they should have the death penalty only if they have committed a really bad crime, like murder, and the police have enough facts to prove they're guilty."

Ellie, 11, Stevenage, England

"I believe a death penalty is right because it teaches them a lesson. After all, they murdered someone and stopped them from living!"

Ashton, 11, York, England

"If someone is found to have definitely killed someone, and not by accident, they should receive the death penalty!"

Edie, 12, Solihull, England

"I think the death penalty is a bad idea because it's pretty much sinking to their level. How is it any different than murder?"

Emily, 13, Brighton, England



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