Ales Bialiatski: death penalty is ineffective in crime prevention
Ales Bialiatski is a former political prisoner, Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", who has served 2.5 years in the Babrujsk correctional colony. During his imprisonment he watched prisoners serving their sentences, including for murder.
Among the prisoners there was a man who could be sentenced to death, but was sentenced to a long prison term instead of it. The life experience again convinced the human rights activist: the use of the death penalty in the country doesn't reduce the number of serious crimes.
"To my mind, the death penalty is ineffective as a preventive measure against the growth in the number of serious crimes. What concerns the psychology of the killers – these people never think they can be detained and face consequences. They just live today. Such crimes can be prevented by a complex of other measures, but the death penalty itself, as a rule, doesn't implement the role of a certain barrier preventing the increase in the number of serious crimes.”
Let us remind that Belarus is the only country in Europe and the former Soviet Union where death executions are still carried out. In 1990-2015, 326 people were executed by shooting on court verdicts. The use of the capital punishment is one of the main obstacles on the way of our country to the Council of Europe. This year, another death verdict has been issued in Belarus: on March 18, 2015 the Homieĺ Regional Court sentenced to death a resident of Rečyca. Last year, three people were executed. Despite the numerous appeals by the international community to impose a moratorium on the death penalty, Belarus keeps issuing death verdicts.
Activists of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against Death Penalty”, held in the country since 2009, propose all concerned people to sign the petition calling on the Belarusian authorities to abolish the death penalty in the country.