Should convicted criminals who die before they’ve completed their sentences be brought back from the grave to finish their punishment? This is the question currently vexing Britain’s right wing press, prompted by the recent conviction of a 101 year old peadophile. “It’s bloody ridiculous, it doesn’t matter how long a sentence the judge gives him, the bastard will have got away with it,” bellows Roger Pork, Crime Editor of the Daily Excess. “He succeeded in continuously offending for decades without detection or punishment. Now he’s finally been caught and convicted, the reality is that he won’t serve more than a year, two at the outside, before he pegs it! Even that time will probably be spent in a geriatric unit, he’s so decrepit! How can it be justice that his victims endured years of abuse at his hands, yet he gets to spend decades free?” Pork’s sentiment’s have been echoed by Superintendent Ted Beef, of North Wales Constabulary, commenting on the death of 76 year old convicted peadophile and former police officer Charles Ham, who expired in a prison hospital, only weeks after commencing a twenty year sentence. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s won again,” the officer told the Daily Excess. “The bastard used his painful and lingering death from terminal cancer to cheat his victims of justice.” Consequently, Ham has joined Pork and the Excess in calling upon the Ministry of Justice to investigate ways of preventing convicted felons from using death to cheat justice.

“But just how do we bring them back?” asks Pork. “It has been suggested that the Prison Service should look into recruiting voodoo priests as prison officers. That way, whenever a prisoner turns up their toes, whether it be through illness, old age or suicide, a voodoo ritual could immediately be organised, with the aim being to resurrect the deceased offender as a zombie and thereby force them to complete their sentence, albeit in an undead state.” Pork sees many Advantages to such an initiative, not least that, as the prisoner would officially be dead, the Human Rights Act would no longer apply to them and non-standard punishments could be applied to them. “Red hot irons, the rack, whips, perhaps even hanging, drawing and quartering could be used on them,” he muses. “The beauty of it being that as they could no longer die, you could do it to them over and over again.” He has also suggested that using voodoo could result in punishments being carried out retrospectively. “I mean, if someone got away with murder before they died, then evidence came to light that they were guilty, we could raise them from the dead and send them to prison,” he enthuses. “There really would br no escape from justice!”

Despite the enthusiasm of the Excess for the use of voodoo, the Ministry of Justice has denied that it is considering such measures. “Quite apart from the fact that it is an utterly ludicrous idea, it could prove prohibitively expensive,” explained a spokesperson for the Ministry. “It isn’t easy to mount a voodoo ceremony – apart from the High Priest you also need all those dancers and drums, not to mention the chickens for ritualistic sacrifices. They all cost money, you know. Besides, there’s also the question of how many priests you need – one per prison, one per landing? Moreover, do we try to resurrect any offender who dies before they’ve completed their sentence, or just those convicted of capital offences or sex offences? Not only that, but doesthe rule still apply when they are out on parole?” Another objection to the voodoo plan has been raised by top criminologist Geoff Mutton of Dorchester University. “The problem with using voodoo is that the dead prisoners would come back as zombies – completely lacking in free will, memory, personality or sentience,” he told the Sunday Bystander. “Which would surely make continuing their punishment pointless. They would be completely unaware of why it was happening.”

Indeed, Mutton objects to the whole notion of bringing offenders back from the grave to continue their punishments. “The idea that those offenders who have the audacity to die, whether by accident or the result of illness, whilst they are incarcerated, are somehow ‘cheating’ their victims of justice is clearly ludicrous,” he opines. “In particular, saying that have ‘won’ is quite illogical. Believe me, they didn’t ‘win’. they died. That’s quite different. It’s not like some kind of ‘better’ option to prison. You don’t walk free. in fact, you don’t walk anywhere, ever again. Not only is death not the easy option, if you are of a religious bent, you’ll know that, if you are a bad guy, then it means eternal damnation. Which, despite the current state of our penal system, isn’t an easier ride than prison.” The criminologist has particularly little sympathy for police officers like Superintendent Ham, who lament the deaths of elderly peadophiles before they’ve been sufficiently punished. “Of course, one might argue that a large degree of responsibility for the fact that these peadophiles evaded prosecution for so long actually lies with these senior police officers,” he says. “Perhaps if they’d properly investigated the allegations against these people in the first place, they might have secured convictions before the perpetrators were at death’s door.”

Nonetheless, Pork maintains that there are sound reasons for pursuing the goal of resurrecting dead offenders. “The fact is that you just can’t be sure that hell and eternal damnation actually exist. So the only practical alternative, as I see it, is to bring these bastards back from the dead, somehow,” he says. “That way you can keep punishing them and force them to complete their sentences. Let’s face it, with more and more peadophiles seemingly evading prosecution until they are drawing their pensions, this is probably the only way we’re ever going to get full ‘satisfaction’ from their punishments.” He believes that if raising them from the dead as zombies isn’t practical, the answer might lie in some sort of scientific resurrection, which preserves the offender’s personality. “Perhaps some kind of Frankenstein-style brain transplanting would be in order?” he asks. “Stick their brains into the bodies of of recently deceased, younger, accident victims? Mind you, that could bring problems down the line – when they’d finally served their sentences, they could be physically younger than when they started. They’d be rejuvenated, ready to start offending all over again.” Mutton is equally unimpressed by this approach. “It would undoubtedly be a bit disconcerting for the relatives of the people whose bodies the dead prisoners received to find that their loved ones had apparently returned from the grave as raving sex offenders,” he ponders. “Whatever the ‘solution’, it would entail the irony of seeing the sort of people who usually call for the return of the death penalty for child molesters instead calling for them to be kept alive. “