The Law of Treason still exists, even if the death penalty has been temporarily suspended because of our Human Rights legislation. Laws covering treason have existed in this country since 1351 and have been updated at various times. The most recent use of these laws was in 1946 when William Joyce, aka Lord Haw Haw, was tried and executed for his broadcasts from Germany which were designed to undermine national morale during World War II.
The Laws were primarily designed to prevent insurrection against the state, in those early days, the Monarch. In essence, the state expects loyalty from its citizens in
exchange for the protection that the state provides. If someone commits
an offence against laws enacted by Parliament, this will normally be a
criminal offence, but if they commit the offence on behalf of foreign
country or organisation it becomes treason.
The laws have been updated from time to time throughout the centuries to cope with the changes from an autocratic monarchy to our present constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The laws now include putting "any force or constraint upon or in order to intimidate or overawe both houses or either House of Parliament".
The murder of Drummer Lee Rigby at Woolwich is clearly treason. Those involved were British citizens, one born here, the other by naturalisation, and they were endeavouring to intimidate Parliament in order to force it to withdraw our troops from "their" countries. They admitted this in their own words in front of cameras, and having admitted to treason should be prosecuted accordingly.
Such a course of action would have two advantages
Firstly, it would show that the state views the killing of Drummer Rigby as far more that simple murder, that it is one of the most serious offences that can be committed, and one for which the death penalty is still available.
Secondly, it would also have the advantage of laying down a marker to all those potential jihadis who go for training in foreign countries. Learning how to make bombs or handle assault weapons with the intention of using those skills against this state could be considered to be treason as they are giving aid to the Sovereign's enemies, "in the realm or elsewhere".
It is time that the state took firm action in order to show that we will not tolerate our own citizens carrying out evil deeds on behalf of foreign organisations. Treason charges would show that we mean business.
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