Russia may reinstate death penalty in the future, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Valery Zorkin wrote in his book “Constitutional Justice: Procedure and Meaning”.
He explained that the decision of the Constitutional Court, which made it impossible to apply capital punishment in Russia at this historical stage of its development, did not exclude a possible move to reinstate death penalty in the future.
“As long as there is premeditated murder, the question of the use of the death penalty cannot be completely closed,” Valery Zorkin, Chairman of the Constitutional Court wrote in the book.
“I hope that a move from law towards moral and religious views, which stand on the positions of the principled refusal from the death penalty, will go successfully for Russia,” he concluded, expressing his personal attitude on this issue.
The question of the need to reinstate the death penalty surfaces in the Russian society on a regular basis. After almost every high-profile crime, many demand the ban on the execution of perpetrators should be lifted. Moreover, many common citizens and a number of lawmakers advocate the execution of terrorists, murderers and pedophiles.
In 2019, more than a half of Russians (68 percent) said that perpetrators should be executed for sexual crimes committed against minors, as well as for murder (57 percent). In total, 69 percent of respondents consider death penalty permissible. Many agreed that death penalty could be applied for:
- terrorism (53 percent),
- rape (52 percent),
- drug trafficking (26 percent),
- high treason and disclosure of state secrets (17 percent),
- bribery (14 percent),
- espionage (9 percent),
- desecration of religious shrines,
- theft, robbery (6 percent),
- tax evasion (1 percent).
The last death penalty in the Russian Federation was carried out in 1996. On April 16, 1997, Russia implemented the moratorium on the death penalty — it has been in effect since the country joined the Council of Europe. On November 19, 2009, the Constitutional Court adopted a decision, according to which the death penalty in Russia could no longer be imposed and applied. The only country in Europe and the CIS that practices death penalty is Belarus.