Mr. Speaker, as you know I will follow Your Honour's ruling at all times as closely as humanly possible. You will understand, however, in view of the fact that there were many quotations and references to the report of the joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons in respect of capital punishment by the minister and by previous speakers, during which time no question was raised nor objection made, that I therefore felt I was entitled to refer to the subject in a similar way.
I must say I am disappointed that the Minister of Justice, after reading the evidence and recommendations contained in the report of the joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons, did not see fit to change the method of carrying out capital punishment. It has been my impression that hanging and electrocution are not the best methods of carrying out this punishment, because both methods disfigure and desecrate the body and are unnecessarily inhuman. On the other hand it is my understanding, having read the evidence of that committee, that the lethal chamber neither disfigures, desecrates nor is inhuman.
Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to go further with this subject, because I always like to stay within your good graces in the event that I become badly out of order on occasion. I have been very interested in this subject for a quarter of a century, and I am sure my views are known by all hon. members of this house in view of the statements I have made on a number of occasions during the past eight years. I do not intend at this time to reiterate them, but would only say at this stage that it is my hope that what I have said will indicate my continuing opposition to capital punishment.
I feel that capital punishment is unchristian, inhuman and cannot be justified on any basis of statistics or law, and is strictly a method of revenge and retribution. I regret that Bill No. C-92 has not accepted the challenge of the modern trend of penology by abolishing capital punishment.
I should be less than fair if, for that reason, I did not say that I appreciate the extent to which the bill does recognize the problem and represents the government's analysis of the situation in an attempt to encompass the feeling of society in a manner which will be acceptable as a step forward. I suggest this is the first major step forward that has been taken in this country toward a stage of decency when the laws of society will be applied to protect society without the necessity of taking human life.
Subtopic: REVISION OF PROVISIONS RESPECTING DEATH PENALTY