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Interior Minister backs death penalty “as citizen”

February 11, 2013, 10:41 UTC+3
“I consider this fact the society’s normal reaction,” Kolokoltsev told NTV by commenting on the slaughters of girls in Tatarstan and the Irkutsk region
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Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said “as citizen” he believes that there “is nothing improper in instituting capital punishment for certain crimes”. “I consider this fact the society’s normal reaction,” Kolokoltsev told NTV by commenting on the slaughters of girls in Tatarstan and the Irkutsk region.

“I’m not against death penalty for certain crimes,” the Russian interior minister added.

According to The Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, replying to an anchor’s question that after girls were killed in Naberezhnye Chelny and the Irkutsk region the society calls for returning capital punishment for especially grave crimes, Kolokoltsev said: “I fear to bring down anger on death penalty opponents. But as citizen I think that there is nothing improper to institute capital punishment for such crimes. If you look at different countries: Europe has its position and America takes another stance. Each state has its approach towards this problem.” The minister noted that while deciding on whom death penalty should be applied it was necessary to take into account the gravity of crimes and the danger level of criminals. “I believe that in such cases capital punishment is the society’s normal reaction.”

The problem for returning death penalty has been discussed since the moratorium on it, Kommersant writes. The society’s position is contradictory. According to the Levada Centre’s data, in August 2012 24 percent of Russian citizens consider capital punishment morally acceptable. A total of 33 percent of respondents answer the question in a different way. A total of 19 percent of respondents say everything depends on the circumstances. In March 2012 the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) reported that 62 percent of citizens favoured the return of death penalty when 21 percent of Russians insisted on the moratorium. Only 5 percent call for abolishing the death penalty, FOM reported.

Political parties determined their positions long ago. The CPRF and the LDPR support the abolition of the death penalty. The A Just Russia party came against breaking the moratorium on capital punishment. Several years ago the United Russia party recognised that this issue should be debated.

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