The new Justice Secretary Michael Gove once called for hanging to be brought back.
Writing in 1998 as a Times columnist, he said Britain was "wrong to abolish hanging" in the 1960s, when the death penalty was outlawed.
David Cameron put Mr Gove in charge of the Department for Justice as he started to appoint his new Conservative Government. He claimed that banning the noose had "led to a corruption of our criminal justice system" and "the erosion of all our freedoms" rather than "a great liberal victory," as it was seen at the time.
It had made punishing innocent people "more likely," Mr Gove wrote, and pointed to the rising swell of opinion in favour of re-introducing hanging to argue that it could repair the broken trust between voters and politicians.
His support for bringing back hanging was out of "respect for democracy," he continued, but would also ensure justice was applied with "scrupulous fairness" by focussing the minds of lawmakers and prosecutors.
Best General Election 2015 quotes
Best General Election 2015 quotes
1/10 1. "Am I tough enough? Hell, yes, I'm tough enough."
Ed Miliband bats away suggestions he would be too weak on the international stage. It likely to go down as one of the quotes we remember this election by.
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
2/10 2. "If I'm getting lively about it, it's because I feel bloody lively about it."
David Cameron attempts to prove how passionate he is about wanting a second term as Prime Minister after Tory donors criticised his lack of enthusiasm.
3/10 3. "Oh it's crats? I thought it was Liberal Demo-cats"
Reality TV star Joey Essex is taught a thing or two during his meeting with Nick Clegg.
4/10 4. "Brain fade"
Green party leader Natalie Bennett gave what was described as the "worst political leader's interview ever" on LBC Radio as she fails to answer how the Greens would pay for its ambitious housing policies.
5/10 5. "We're a shining example of a country where multiple identities work. Where you can be Welsh and Hindu and British, Northern Irish and Jewish and British, where you can wear a kilt and a turban, where you can wear a hijab covered in poppies. Where you can support Man Utd, the Windies and Team GB all at the same time. Of course, I'd rather you supported West Ham"
David Cameron experienced his own brain fade when he forgot which football team he supported.
6/10 6. “This is a real career-defining … country-defining election that we face in less than a week’s time”
The Prime Minister made another gaffe when he made it sound like the election was all about himself.
7/10 7. “Ed Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader. Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister.”
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon launched a vicious personal attack on Ed Miliband.
8/10 8. "Ajockalypse Now."
The colourful term used by Boris Johnson to describe a Labour government propped up by the SNP.
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
9/10 9. “The SNP are openly racist. The anti-English hostility, and the kind of language that is used about and towards English people, is totally extraordinary.”
Nigel Farage launches an attack on Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP party.
10/10 10. "Terms are like Shredded Wheat. Two are wonderful, three might be too many."
David Cameron rules out a third term as Prime Minister.
Writing in The Times in July 1998, Mr Gove said: "Hanging may seem barbarous, but the greater barbarity lies in the slow abandonment of our common law traditions.
"Were I ever alone in the dock I would not want to be arraigned before our flawed tribunals, knowing my freedom could be forfeit as a result of political pressures. I would prefer a fair trial, under the shadow of the noose."
Mr Gove has not appeared to repeat any such backing for the death penalty since he made the remarks in 1998.
Mr Gove returned to a front-line Cabinet position as Mr Cameron started to assemble his new Government. He was demoted from Education Secretary last year and replaced with Nicky Morgan in a bid to cool relations with teachers in the run up to the election.
He is likely to become just as unpopular with judges, prison officers and prosecutors as was with teachers as he wields the axe over widespread cuts to the justice system, including a courts system that is the most expensive in Europe.
Justice is one of the unprotected departments and with the promise of five years of tax cuts and a £8 billion spending spree on the NHS, its budget is likely to be hit hard.Reuse content