* Death penalty – res publica?

From time to time all European countries, including the Czech Republic, experience debates about legitimacy of death penalty. Such debates are not incidental. The most serious crimes – violent crimes including the most serious ones - murders – have naturally always stood in the centre of attention of the media. Every time, when the Czech public is shaken by a brutal murder, a question repeatedly comes forth: Shouldn’t death penalty be restored again? Politicians, lawyers, journalists as well as wide public again and again enter the exciting debate, but the result is known beforehand: death penalty is prohibited by constitution and by international commitments of the Czech Republic.

 

The research of CVVM executed in October 2005 also focused on the issue of death penalty. At the same time, the research monitored in greater detail the reasons of the Czech public for or against capital punishment. At first, all respondents were asked: “Do you think that death penalty should or should not exist in the Czech Republic?” The structure of the acquired results is introduced in the following table.

As it is obvious from the results of the recent research recorded in the table, almost three-fifth majority (57 %) of the Czech public favour the existence of death penalty, whereas three out of ten citizens stand against it and 13 % of the questioned hesitate between the two opinions.