Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney has said that the justice system should be about “strong punishment”, and that the UK should be handing out more whole-life sentences to serious criminals.
Speaking to GB News on prisons and the justice system, Ben Harris-Quinney said: “I’m a believer in strong punishment. I think the justice system is about the victims of crime, not the perpetrators of crime.
“So I think punishment should be very tough, and the focus should be on punishment rather than rehabilitation. That should be the primary purpose of our justice system.”
Mr Harris-Quinney also said that prisons, as a place of punishment, should be made a “more difficult experience for people”, suggesting some could be far less “costly” and “plush”.
On the issue of whether the death penalty should be brought back to the UK, Mr Harris-Quinney said: “I think in many ways it’s a greater punishment to send someone to prison for the rest of their life than it is to give them release of death and in so doing, you are also giving them the opportunity to repent and reflect on what they have done.
“I would be as tough as you like in terms of sending people to prison and the kind of prisons you send them to, and how long you do it for, but I would stop short of the death penalty.”
Harris-Quinney observed: “I’ve always struggled to understand the linkage between the areas in the United States that have the death penalty which tend to overlap with the strongest areas of Christian faith. One of the core tenets of Christianity is that people must always have the opportunity to repent, whatever the severity of what they’ve done and the crime they’ve committed.
“I believe in that, as well. You can take that position from a Christian perspective, but you can also take that position from any perspective that a criminal coming to the conclusion that they have done the wrong thing is an important part of justice. I think for the victims of crime, there is a catharsis in that, in that the criminal sees what they’ve done and how they’ve hurt people, hurt the community, and hurt the country.”
“Another debate that’s fired up in recent years is this idea of people being sent to prison for life, but getting out in 20 years, which isn’t life. I think whole-of-life orders are something that we should do a lot more of in Britain,” he added.
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