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Vocabulary

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1. to suspend приостанавливать, временно прекращать

2. to abolish отменять

 

The death penalty by hanging for murder and some other crimes was first suspended in 1965, and was completely abolished in 1969 in Great Britain. But opinion polls consistently show that over half of the public is in favour of the death penalty, especially for terrorist offences and the murder of policemen. The general public seems to support harsh treatment of criminal offenders, and argues that more sympathy and aid should be given to the victims of crimes. The UN has declared itself in favour of abolition, Amnesty International actively campaigns for abolition, and the issue is now the focus of great debate.

Supporters of capital punishment believe that death is a just punishment for certain serious crimes. It deters people from committing such crimes. It must not be abolished.

Opponents argue that execution is cruel and uncivilized. The death penalty can only be imposed for especially grave crimes against life and may not be imposed against women, men under eighteen years of age.

The goal of punishment under the new Criminal Code in Russia is the re-establishment of social justice, the rehabilitation of the convicted person, and the prevention of the commission of new crimes (Art. 43 CC). The widely used Soviet punishment of banishment was abolished toward the end of the perestroika period, but the 1996 Criminal Code still includes the death penalty and other common forms of punishment: fine, prohibition to engage in a profession, confiscation of property, and deprivation of liberty among others. The death penalty can only be imposed for especially grave crimes against life and may not be imposed against women, men under eighteen years of age at the time of the commission of the offence, or men over sixty years of age at the time of judgment (Art. 59 CC). Whereas fifteen years was the maximum period of imprisonment under the old code, the 1996 Code introduces life imprisonment as an alternative to the death penalty.



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Reasons “for” Reasons “against”
– It protects unarmed policemen, young children, civilized society; – “Life sentence”: ten years of “good conduct” and then freedom to live on the proceeds of crime; – Suspension of capital punishment encourages crime; – Violent criminals seem to be heroic figures, glorified in Mass Media; – They expect and receive VIP treatment,   – Capital punishment doesn’t deter criminals from committing serious offences; – This has been proved many times in the past: relaxation of harsh laws has never led to increase in crime rate; – It’s absurd: capital punishment has never protected anyone; – Hanging, electric chairs are barbaric practices, unworthy of human beings; – In most civilized countries capital punishment is either suspended or abolished.

 

 


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