Being the hip young thing that I am, the other night I found myself listening to Radio 4. Cunningly avoiding the Archers, the Moral Maze and discovering what LPs this week’s has-been pseudo-celebrity would listen to while gnawing their arms off on a desert island, I tuned in to Dave Gorman’s Genius, a show where inspired-although-a-bit-daft ideas were appraised by Mr Gorman’s guest, Geordie linguistic legend Sid Waddell.

One enterprising fellow had the audacity to take on the premier barge-pole topic of capital punishment, and presented an idea worthy of the show’s name.

Re-instating capital punishment, the plucky contestant suggested, should be put to a referendum. All those voting in favour should then have their names stored on a file somewhere. When the first incidence of proven post-execution innocence occurs, as it undoubtedly would, so our man claimed, all the names of the supporters of state-sponsored killing should be put in a hat, with one lucky person being plucked out and put to death as a way of saying sorry.

Whoever was chosen wouldn’t mind, of course, as they cast their vote for the reinstatement of capital punishment in the knowledge that eventually something would go tragically awry. They’d merely be a happy martyr for their particular political belief.

Which is all rather super, I think you’ll agree.

  1. piers said:

    A colleeague and i came up with the idea for a show, Celebrity Execution ™ where the likes of peter andre were sent to Burma with coke in their bag, then we could watch the execution on live reality tv. I think you’ll all agree the audience would break all records.

  2. Jonn said:

    I’ve felt for a while that every time someone is evicted on Big Brother, the sound of gunfire and screams should be played within the house.

    Then BB could go eerily silent.

    It’d rock.

  3. chris said:

    but then if it was proved that the 1st executee had been guilty after all would one of us no voters have to be killed?

  4. The Armando Ianucci (sp?) bit about the Contrarian Party was very amusing also.

  5. Murk said:

    ‘but then if it was proved that the 1st executee had been guilty after all would one of us no voters have to be killed?’

    Erm, no. The no voters took the view that capital punishment was unacceptable, they would have been overruled by the ‘yes’ crowd.

    The vote would have to be renewed every few years or we’d run out of ‘yes’ voters through old age.

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  7. Katie said:

    The No voters have their own lottery rather more frequently. That one is for the person who would have been a subsequent victim of a time-served murderer.

  8. jane said:

    How about a slight variation: the referendum takes place, and all the names of people who vote in favour are kept in a file. Then, if a “yes-voter” commits a capital offence, they are executed. Those who voted no, but go on to commit capital offences, and imprisoned as per the status quo. Live by the sword…