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Hanging's too good for 'em - so what do you suggest?

Reader alternatives to capital punishment invited

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Our report last week that there's no evidence capital punishment has an effect on the murder rate in the US of A prompted a lively reader debate on the subject of execution.

Just about the only clear conclusion that came from the tussle is that once you've been strapped to a gurney and administered a fatal chemical cocktail, you're very unlikely to reoffend.

That's assuming you broke the law in the first place, of course. The execution of innocent people is death penalty opponents' strongest argument against nooses, electric chairs and gas chambers. It's fair to say that life imprisonment without parole is a pretty stiff punishment for murder, while allowing the chance for those unjustly incarcerated to be exonerated while still alive.

However, banging murderers up indefinitely just doesn't cut it for some people, so we're inviting suggestions as to how these perps could be made to really suffer.

No doubt readers have their own personal nightmare scenario. Perhaps it's being forced to watch an endless loop of Battlefield Earth, except on Sundays, when it's an endless loop of The Phantom Menace.

On the other hand, why not handcuff ne'er-do-wells for 30 years to an Apple fanboi in a queue to be the first to buy the latest iPad? The prospect of listening for that long to some gibbering geek proselytising about the Church of Jobs is terrible indeed.

Not severe enough? Post your suggestions as a comment to this story or email them to me here. We'll put the most inhuman to the traditional reader vote next week, so you lot can decide which punishment best fits the most heinous crimes. ®

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