This week 60 years ago: Islington MP asks Home Secretary to rethink giving public notice of pending prison executions

The Gazette 60 years ago

The Gazette 60 years ago - Credit: Archant

Dr Eric Fletcher, the MP for East Islington asked the Home Secretary in the House of Commons whether he would reconsider whether to give the public notice of the time fixed for a pending execution, this week 60 years ago.

The Royal Commission on Capital Punishment had recommended a rethink on the practice. Tory Rab Butler told him: "I am required by Section 11 of the Homicide Act 1957 to publish the time and place of an execution as early as I conveniently can. I do not think that to withold the time would prevent crowds assembling or serve any other useful purpose."

Someone else asked if he could arrange with prison authorities to prevent people protesting outside prisons while executions were taking place. He replied: "The prison commissioners have no authority to prevent persons assembling on the public highway outside a prison."

Capital punishment for murder was abolished in the UK five years later and the last executions were by hanging.