Citizens' Forum: Debating the death penalty
First airing in 1942 and running for over two decades, Citizens' Forum was billed as "an inquiry into the postwar world," a discussion show that addressed countless major issues of the times. Produced in co-operation with the Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE), it was one of the most interactive programs the CBC ever aired. Listeners voted on upcoming topics, and the CAAE produced printed pamphlets so listeners could read up on debate topics in advance and contribute informed questions during broadcasts.
• The country's last execution took place in 1962 at Toronto's Don Jail. The condemned were Arthur Lucas, 54, convicted of premeditated murder of an informant and witness and Robert Turpin, 29, charged with unpremeditated murder of a police officer. • Canada has executed a total of 710 people, including 13 women. The last woman executed in Canada was Marguerite Pitre, a co-conspirator in the 1949 bombing of a Canadian Pacific Airlines flight in which 23 people were killed. At the time, it was the worst mass murder in Canadian history. Pitre was executed in 1953. • Parliament held a free vote on whether to reinstate capital punishment in 1987. The abolitionists won by just 21 votes, winning 148 to 127. • Canada completely abolished the death penalty in 1998 when it removed the death penalty from the National Defence Act.
Program: Citizens' Forum
Broadcast Date: Feb. 11, 1965
Guest(s): Jack Doupe
Resource: Len H. Brooks
Photo: Napoleon Belanger / Library and Archives Canada / C-014078
Last updated: December 11, 2012
Page consulted on March 4, 2014
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