Number of death penalty supporters grows in Russia - poll

A total of 38 percent Russians support the resumption of death penalties in the country, against 33 percent in 2012, a poll, carried out by Levada Center in 45 Russian regions, showed

A total of 38 percent Russians support the resumption of death penalties in the country, against 33 percent in 2012, a poll, carried out by Levada Center on June 6-10 among 1,601 people in 45 Russian regions, showed.

Sixteen per cent, against 28 percent in 2012, said it was necessary to expand the death penalty application.

Twenty three percent respondents supported keeping the existing death penalty moratorium, while only 14 percent said so in 2012.

A total of 13 percent Russians said capital punishment had to be cancelled completely and 10 percent shared the same point of view in 2012.

Eleven per cent failed to answer.

When asked with what means crime is to be fought now, 49 percent respondents said they supported making punishment for criminal offences more severe and 47 percent said fair and impartial court investigation of criminal offences.

Almost a third (28 percent) proposed to enhance police and special services work and to expand their authorities.

Six percent urged to allow citizens to carry and use weapons to protect life and property.

Death penalty has not been legally cancelled in Russia. The moratorium on capital punishment was introduced in 1996, when Russia joined the Council of Europe, and life sentence is an alternative for death sentence. The moratorium was to expire on January 1, 2010 but the Russian Constitutional Court extended it in November 2009 until the Russian State Duma ratifies a protocol cancelling capital punishment.

As of now, the only European country where death sentences are still carried out is Belarus. Two people were executed in Belarus in 2012.

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