Albert Pierrepoint (30 March 1905 – 10 July 1992) is the most famous member of the family which provided three of the United Kingdom's official hangmen in the first half of the 20th century. He was born in Clayton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and lived in Bradford, Lincoln, Oldham and the seaside resort of Southport.
Pierrepoint allegedly became an opponent of capital punishment. The reason for this seems to be a combination of the experiences of his father, his uncle, and himself, whereupon reprieves were granted in accordance with political expediency or public fancy and little to do with the merits of the case in question. He had also hanged a slight acquaintance James Corbitt on 28 November 1950; Corbitt was a regular in his pub, and had sung "Danny Boy" as a duet with Pierrepoint on the night he murdered his girlfriend in a fit of jealousy because she would not give up a second boyfriend. This incident in particular made Pierrepoint feel that hanging was no deterrent, particularly when most of the people he was executing had killed in the heat of the moment rather than with premeditation or in furtherance of a robbery. Pierrepoint kept his opinions to himself on the topic until his 1974 autobiography, Executioner: Pierrepoint, in which he wrote: “I have come to the conclusion that executions solve nothing, and are only an antiquated relic of a primitive desire for revenge which takes the easy way and hands over the responsibility for revenge to other people...The trouble with the death penalty has always been that nobody wanted it for everybody, but everybody differed about who should get off.”
However, Pierrepoint's opinion with regard to capital punishment remains controversial and the subject of debate, mostly due to a 1976 interview with BBC Radio Merseyside, in which the former executioner expresses his uncertainty towards the sentence, and reminds the interviewer that, when the autobiography was originally written, "things were going steady." In addition, he states "Oh, I could go again" when describing his reaction to particularly vile murder cases.
Albert Pierrepoint is wrong to describe executions as nothing but revenge, no…execution is justice not revenge. I suspect that it could be that he was under pressure by the abolitionists. When Pierrepoint was the executioner during before the 1960’s, homicide rates were so much lower than it was today. If there were people like Albert Pierrepoint today in UK, more lives will be saved from homicide. Britain made the great mistake of disclosing who their hangmen are, they should keep the executioners’ names in secret.
James Corbitt, whose father of the same name was hung by Albert Pierrepoint on 28 November 1950, said, "My father probably deserved the hangman's noose. They should bring back capital punishment for certain crimes. Anybody who kills somebody should hang unless it was in self-defence. People like the Moors' Murderers shouldn't be put in prison. They deserve to die. It's as simple as that.”
Mr Corbitt, a schoolboy when his father was hanged, insisted, that Pierrepoint deserved thanks for calming his father's nerves by greeting him as Tish. He said: "He made it easier, didn't he? As far as I am concerned, there is no need for him to feel badly about it. My father knew what he was doing. He was thinking about killing the woman for a year."
Despite Pierrepoint's own apparent conclusions, Mr Corbitt, whose parents had separated before the murder, insisted: "I still think the death penalty would act as a deterrent. I wouldn't like the idea of a rope being put around my neck."
If nobody wants to be an executioner, the state should hire a Saudi Arabian executioner who takes pride in his job. I am not in favor of sharia law. But let us focus on preventing murder, terrorism and drug trafficking. If nobody wants to do the hangman or executioner job in Europe, we can hire him to do it. Most executions take place in the three major cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dahran. Saudi executioners take great pride in their work and the post tends to be handed down from one generation to the next. Since the United States is having a great problem with searching for drugs for lethal injections, they should consider hiring a Saudi executioner to do the job, as they seem to be the only ones in the world who will be willing to do the profession of protecting society.
I read an article of Muhammad Saad al-Beshi(لبيشي محمد سعد), he has been an executioner for the government of Saudi Arabia since 1998. He has been described as "Saudi Arabia's leading executioner". Here is an interview from him on Thursday 5 June 2003:
Abdallah Bin Sa’id Abishi is another Saudi Arabian Executioner. In a TV interview, He speaks of his job, its required skills, its stresses and its challenges. He shows off his beheading swords, and he remembers the day he went to watch his dad (whose job was also beheading convicts) at work , how he saw a big black hole where the prisoner's head used to be, and how that became the turning point of his life. And he speaks of his own son, Badr, who is now in 'training' to follow the father's career path.
Some might ask me if I am in favor of sharia law as when I quote two Saudi executioners, the answer is no. I am in favor of capital punishment when it comes to murder, terrorism and drug trafficking. We need the death penalty to keep society safe, my friend lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for two years and she told me that it is a safe society where they have very low violent crimes. If Great Britain were to hire a Saudi executioner, the first three people whom I would love to see get beheaded are Dennis Nielson, Ian Huntley and Mark Dixie.
Remember a quote from French philosopher Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre: “All grandeur, all power, and all subordination to authority rests on the executioner: he is the horror and the bond of human association. Remove this incomprehensible agent from the world and at that very moment order gives way to chaos, thrones topple and society disappears.”