The moment turned out to be suitable
In Russia, it turns out, it can be lifted (purely theoretically, but many of our current practices are yesterday's theoreticians) the moratorium on the death penalty. This idea was expressed in his new book by the chairman of the Constitutional Court of Russia Valery Zorkin, which shocked the Russians, whose imagination is already inflamed by the latest events.
“If the idiot who urinated on the portrait of the veteran was sentenced to four years in prison, then they will be shot for really serious crimes! And how many innocent people are executed by mistake or malicious intent? ” – individual citizens reacted to the sayings of the “chief judge of the country”.
In general, at no other time would the media cite a book in the news (even if it was of such authorship). But the moment turned out to be, frankly, very “suitable”. And although Zorkin himself did not mean anything bad (we hope), his words were taken precisely as a warning.
To begin with, it would be correct to quote the full quote from the CC chairman. “The fact that the Constitutional Court made a decision making it impossible to use the death penalty in Russia at this historical stage of its development does not exclude the possibility of returning to this punishment in the future.” That is, nothing concrete, just a hypothetical possibility. Moreover, Zorkin further explains: “I really hope that our country’s departure from the law in the direction of those moral and religious views that stand on the position of a principled renunciation of the death penalty will be successful for Russia.” Let's try to make out what the head of the Constitutional Court said. And he said literally the following: while the decision of the Constitutional Court is in force, according to which it is impossible to execute, but who knows what awaits us in the future? That is, he warned that this decision could be changed. What if he thereby signaled that such initiatives are already coming from certain forces and that the return of the death penalty is quite real? This is the case, I'm afraid.
More than once or twice I heard from high-ranking security officials that it is time to stop “babysitting with all kinds of criminal trash,” that there is no need to try to correct someone, and even more so it is not worth supporting those who are now serving life sentences at the expense of the state. They seriously believe that the death penalty will solve almost all problems. Is this a real delusion or a deliberate lie?
To begin with, a return to the death penalty would violate international agreements. In this case, in the eyes of the world community, we would look at the same time both madmen and savages. Today, there is a tendency towards further humanization, when progressive countries are already striving to abolish not only the death penalty (where it has survived), but even life imprisonment (for example, Portugal and all of South America).
Secondly, criminologists have proved that in states where the death penalty remains, no fewer crimes are committed. Severe punishment, contrary to popular belief, does not help to reduce the criminalization of society. Want an example? The crime rate in Iran, where the death penalty is practiced, is the same as in the Scandinavian countries, where not only it is absent, but also, in principle, cruel punishments. During my journalistic activities, I talked to many terrible criminals. So, at the moment of the crime, not one of them thought about punishment, and the realization that they could be executed would not have stopped him. Crime is not influenced by severity, but by social, economic and other factors. As the well-known criminologist Danil Sergeev said: “Those who commit crimes are not at all afraid of punishment, and those who do not do so are not at all out of fear of punishment.” It turns out that those who advocate the death penalty are simply engaged in substitution of concepts.
As for the content of life-sentenced prisoners. In fact, there are not so many of them – about 2,000 people, and in most colonies they work, they themselves, in fact, pay the costs of their maintenance. Besides, how many innocent ones can there be? Nobody will tell you that. But while they are alive, they have a glimmer of hope of justification.
The quote from Zorkin's book was circulated in the media for a reason. People live in tension: what next cruelty will the security forces come up with? Now they are clearly winning: people are not released from arrest, human rights organizations that helped citizens are liquidated or recognized as foreign agents, sites on human rights topics are being closed. Against the background of all this, lifting the moratorium on the death penalty will plunge society into a state of torpor. In this case, no one can guarantee that he will not be arrested and executed for someone's malicious intent. The most paradoxical: neither can those security officials who “drown” for maximum severity and cruelty cannot guarantee this.