More Czechs Oppose Than Support Capital Punishment For The First Time

Opposition to the death penalty is almost four times higher than in 1992. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, July 26 (CTK) – Opponents of the death penalty outnumber supporters for the first time in the Czech Republic, according to a poll conducted by the Center for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) in the spring and released to CTK yesterday. 51% are now against capital punishment, compared to 42% who agree with it. 

Opposition to the death penalty is almost four times higher than in 1992, when the CVVM first carried out the same poll.

The death penalty was abolished in Czechoslovakia in 1990 after the fall of the Communist regime. The peak of support for it since then was in 1992 and 1994, when about three-quarters of respondents agreed with its reinstatement. In the following years, the level of support fluctuated, and since 2011, has been steadily decreasing.

Compared to the previous survey in 2019, support for capital punishment is now 8 percentage points lower, while opposition is 10 points higher.

“Since 1992, when support for the death penalty was 76%, the share of supporters has declined by 34 percentage points, while opposition has increased from 13% in 1992 to about four times more, with a difference of 38 percentage points,” the pollsters said.

Responding to specific arguments supporting the death penalty, a majority of three-fifths agreed that it would “bring fair satisfaction to the survivors”. The lowest share (41%) supported the argument that it was necessary to apply the principle of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”.

The strongest argument against capital punishment is the risk of potential abuse or miscarriage of justice. Four-fifths of citizens agreed with these statements. The least persuasive reason against the death penalty is that it is an expression of political populism, as 37% agreed with this.

More than 800 people aged over 15 took part in the CVVM survey between 27 March and 22 May.

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