Is it true that a person can still be hanged in the UK for killing a monarch or a swan?

When death penalty was abolished, apparently they left out treason. Is this true? And what about killing a swan?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    no, however that was the case up until 20th May 1998. Killing a swan was (maybe still is) considered an act of treason, and as such could result in the death penalty, although in reality that would not have happened. Initially when the death penalty was abolished it still applied to treason and piracy with violence, however that was also abolished in 1998

    "It was also, until 1998, treason to kill one of the Queen’s swans - and the majority of these vicious, hissing white brutes in the country technically belong to Her Majesty thanks to a statute dating from 1186 (reaffirmed by the Act of Swans of 1482 and the Wild Creatures and Forest Law Act of 1971). Only the Dyers’ Company and Vintners’ Company of the City of London have any other claim to ownership, and this only to specific birds on the River Thames. So, a swan attacks your dog on a gentle stroll by the river, you hit it with a stick and it dies, you should technically have been executed."

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I've never heard of how bird killing is punished (no offense), but I do know that every country has a special regard concerning treason. If a country abolishes the death penalty, in my opinion, it means that they don't use it on a massive scale.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act of 1965 suspended the death penalty in England, Wales and Scotland.

    What you are referring to is the fact that four crimes still carried the dealth penalty, namely:

    1) treason,

    2) piracy with violence,

    3) causing a fire or explosion in a naval dockyard, magazine or warehouse, and

    4) certain crimes under the jurisdiction of the armed forces

    Under a House of Lords amendment to the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998 the death penalty was abolished for crimes of treason and piracy with violence.

    On May 20, 1998, the House of Commons voted to implement the 6th Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights outlawing capital punishment for murder except "in times of war or imminent threat of war".

    The last remaining provisions for the death penalty under military jurisdiction (including in wartime) were removed when the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force on 9 November 1998. When the 6th Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights was ratified on 20 May 1999 all provisions for the death penalty in peacetime were prohibited (although they had all been abolished by this time). The UK later (October 10, 2003) acceded to the 13th Protocol, which prohibits the death penalty under all circumstances.

    The last execution to take place in the U.K. was on 13 August, 1964, when two men were hanged for the crime of murder.

    In your reference to swans, you are most likely referring to the fact that the Crown has ownership of all wild unmarked white swans swimming in open and common waters in the U.K. (established by Case of Swans (1592) 7 Co Rep 15b at 16a)

    In 2006, a man was arrested and jailed for killing and eating one of Her Majesty's swans (see BBC link below)

    Furthermore, in reference to killing a monarch - that would fall under the offence of "high treason" in the U.K, as defined by the Treason Act 1351. To ""compass or imagine" (i.e. plan) the death of the King, his wife or his eldest son and heir" comprises an offence under this act, punishable by life imprisonment as set out in the Treason Felony Act 1848.

    In 1981, Marcus Sarjeant was charged under Section 2 of the Treason Act 1842 for "wilfully discharging a revolver near the person of the Queen with intent to alarm Her". He was convicted and and sentenced to serve five years at Her Majesty's Pleasure (in prison).

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    no killing swans won't get you hanged. lol

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Thank you all for your answers and opinions!

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.