Belarusians express their opinions about the death penalty
Last week, a discussion
was held in Minsk for the participants of the educational program
“Pcholka” ("Bee") on the subject of the death penalty
in Belarus. The event was attended by representatives of the campaign
"Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty" –
Andrei Paluda and Valiantsin Stefanovich.
Following the discussion, the panelists wrote essays about their attitude to capital punishment in Belarus. Here we present to your attention some excerpts.
First of all, the death penalty is a wall between Europe and Belarus, which deprives our country of membership in many international and European organizations, an admission criterion to which is the abolition or a moratorium on the death penalty.
The death penalty does not scare potential criminals
We were assured that the death penalty reduces crime, but I have the impression that, in principle , nothing has changed. Murders don't stop, and we also have sad facts of terrorism. You see, the people who engage in such crimes, cannot be stopped by the existence of the death penalty.
The maintenance of a criminal costs about 150 thousand rubles per day, or 4.5 million rubles a month.Belarus has a population of approximately 9,464 million. If you count , it appears that a citizen spends less than one ruble (!), 0.475 rubles a month for the maintenance of a criminal. In 2005, two people were sentenced to death, in 2006 – 9 people, in 2011 – 4 people. Thus, in 2005 each Belarusian saved 0.95 rubles, in 2006 – 4.27 rubles and in 2011 – 1.9 rubles. However, there are cases when innocent people are convicted. So, there are also cases when innocent people are punished by death. Is such saving worth human lives?
People's opinion about the death penalty has changed
More than 17 years have passed since the referendum on the death penalty. This gives the reasons to express the guess, that the public opinion has changed since 1996. First of all, a new generation of young people, born in the post-Soviet Belarus, has grown up, and these people did not participate in the referendum. Secondly, if you look at the neighboring countries, in all of them there is either a moratorium on the death penalty or its abolition.
Murder is always murder, regardless of the reason
No matter whom the people had decided to kill: be it an ill baby (in Sparta), a Jew or a homosexual (during the Second World War). The society just kills. Nothing changes if criminals are added to this list. If we kill this very criminal, who has made a great mistake in his life, a new one will still appear and hurt us. Do we need to kill everyone and remain alone in this world then? Are we not be able to overcome our flimsy horror? We can. I believe in it.
The death penalty is a way to degradation
I am against the death penalty, because this measure doesn't help to save the country from criminals, but is a direct path to the degradation of the society, since the death penalty is a rejection of the most basic human right – the right to life, and the denial of the most important values - the value of the human person.
The death penalty is a relic of the time
This is an archaism which should be abolished worldwide. We live in the 21st century and must abandon medieval vestiges, because the practice has shown that the existence of the death penalty has no effect on the crime rate.
In my opinion, the death penalty shouldn't be used, because it is not a certain judge, prosecutor or executor who is responsible for it. It is the responsibility of each citizen of the country: indifferent or concerned, young or adult. Everyone who voted or didn't vote at the referendum. Everyone who thought about this problem or didn't think about it. Everyone! And I'm not ready to be involved in the killing.