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What Do the Poles Think about the Abolition of the Death Penalty?


PolReport  
22 Aug 2006 /  #1
“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, proclaims the proverb and the Poles enthusiastically agree. Why? The Polish reality is a harsh one, where life sometimes is worth no more than a cell phone or a few dollars. Thus, the vast majority of Poles crave the reintroduction of death penalty, and, as they claim, for a good reason.

Although Poland uses a Catholic message, the message of love and forgiveness promoted by the gospel does not seem influence neither the criminals nor the enraged public. Today, as many as thirty thousand criminals await their turn to go to jail, and more are added daily to the queue.

And although the Bible proclaims, “Do not kill”, neither the perpetrators or the angry public cares much for that message. For many a Pole, permanently getting rid of murderers seems like an attractive and universal solution for the problem, and the number of murderers in Polish jails grows by the day.

The penalties that the Polish courts decide are a joke, people claim. A killer sentenced for a gory murder to a lifetime in jail walks the street in less than ten years, free to kill again, which happens. They also point out that keeping murderers in prison is not only costly, but pointless. If the state kills the killers, they never get another opportunity to become repeat offenders and the death penalty is not revenge, but simply a just payment for a murder. If it works also as a deterrent, but the most important aspect of the death punishment is, simply put, getting rid of the heinous individuals for good.

The Poles point out the gory statistics since 1998, when the death penalty was executed for the last time in Poland. The streets are unsafe, people get killed for no reason, or for a small financial gain, there is a number of cold-blooded murders where simply no other punishment is adequate. An example they quote is the recent case of a young female university student thrown from a train by several young, strong men looking for a perverse thrill. The girl was killed.

The perpetrators will be given jail sentences and will get out in a few years time. Is this justice, the Poles ask? What if it was my daughter on this train?

No wonder almost eighty percent of Poles want the death penalty reinstated. Not many reflect that many societies, that do not have a death sentence, like the Nordic countries and many others, do not have this kind of problem that seems to be specifically Polish.

Very few ponder the fact that what happens in a society actually reflects the way it functions. The increase of the number of cases, not only violent killings, but also other crimes, sadly mirrors the dire problems within society: the poverty, the homelessness, the social injustice, the unemployment, the lack of social responsibility, and deficient upbringing.

By administering the death penalty, Poles seem to want to get rid of the symptom - which is not unimportant in itself - rather than to rectify the cause of the problem, seeing the death penalty as a quick-and-dirty solution, much less complicated and less time consuming, than trying to alleviate the underlying structures that lead to crime.

True, today’s killers are beyond hope and society is probably better off if they are dead, but the main question remains how to prevent a new generations of murderers without a conscience that grow up and roam the Polish streets. Has someone asked the poignant question: “Why does Poland have this problem of such a dimension?”

The US has ghetto-killers that fill its death rows, where their background can, in part, explain their behavior. Could it be that Poland’s harsh social reality is reflected in the type of criminals the society fosters?

There should be no mercy for killers. It is the victims that we should sympathize with, exactly as the Poles do, but nevertheless, it should be pointed out that if you train a dog to kill, it is your responsibility if the animal kills. If society fosters killers, whose responsibility it is if they do what they are predestined to?

No one has been hanged in Poland since 1998, when the last killer was hanged by the state – a man, who killed seven people whom he shot using a rifle in order to rob, and undoubtedly deserved to die. Undoubtedly, the state should – in some way - try to get rid of asocial individuals that do not respect the sanctity of human life. On the other hand, a good question is when the behavior ceases to be asocial and becomes a social one. How many killers is normal in a society?

As a new EU member, Poland is hardly going to reintroduce the death penalty in the near future, although the Kaczynski brothers (of whom one is the Polish President, the other the leader of the leading PIS party), as they have claimed before being elected, will have it introduced. Instead, the current state of limbo is likely to continue, where the majority of citizens want one thing, while the politicians do another. That’s democracy for you. A suitable music for the Poles in this situation seems to be Metallica’s “Kill ‘em all”, album - it is the closest they will come to the reintroduction of death penalty for years to come.
Marks  
22 Aug 2006 /  #2
I'm a little surprised so many Poles and the Polish government officials are for the death penalty...?
hello  
22 Aug 2006 /  #3
I think it's not even most Poles - it's a minority - represented in the Polish government (unfortunately).
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
22 Aug 2006 /  #4
The Poles point out the gory statistics since 1998, when the death penalty was executed for the last time in Poland.

No one has been hanged in Poland since 1998, when the last killer was hanged by the state – a man, who killed seven people whom he shot using a rifle in order to rob, and undoubtedly deserved to die.

That is NOT true. The year of the last death penalty being carried out in poland is 1988!!

The streets are unsafe, people get killed for no reason, or for a small financial gain, there is a number of cold-blooded murders where simply no other punishment is adequate.

According to "Wprost" newspaper (25 June 2006) in the last year the amount of homicides in Poland was 2.1 on 100 000 citizens. In Germany it was 3.0, and in USA 5.5.

When it comes to the number of rapes in 2005 per 100 000 citizens, the situation looks like this: Poland 5.1; England and Wales 7.78; Germany 10.7; Sweden 29.03; and USA 32.2.

The number of stolen cars per 100 000 citizens in 2005: Poland 117.46; Germany 245.7; England and Wales 403.4; and USA 421.3.

The crime rate in Poland for the year 2005 was 3 578.9, when in Germany it was 8 045.7.

The most dangerous city in England and Wales in 2005 was Nottingham with 11 550 crimes per 100 000 citizens, while the most dangerous city in Poland, Katowice, had 7 063 crimes per 100 000 citizens. It’s quite funny, because a German city called Remscheid, with a very similar number of crimes to Katowice, is located on the fourth place of the most safe cities in Germany.
reader  
6 Dec 2006 /  #5
Thank you for doing your research, Matyjasz. Even one murder is too many, but the statistics above prove that the move to reinstate the death penalty is not the wish of an unusually depraved society.
Grzegorz_ 52 | 6,181  
7 Dec 2006 /  #6
I think it's not even most Poles - it's a minority - represented in the Polish government (unfortunately).

No. Vast majority support death penalty.
Crazy Horse - | 13  
7 Dec 2006 /  #7
The statement that stands out the most is the one saying that by having a death penalty (and utilizing it) the heinous (shockingly evil) offender only gets to commit that kind of crime once.

Many are repulsed by the death penalty until they themselves experience some dreadful result from a criminal.

Remember, the 7th Commandment does not say "Thou shall not kill." It says "Thou Shall Not MURDER." There is a profound difference.
Stupidwelsh  
7 Dec 2006 /  #8
You are splitting hairs aren’t you? Let’s take a hypothetical, a man is convicted of killing another man and is put to death, some years later it is discovered the man was innocent and a miscarriage of justice has taken place- was the man murdered [usually refers to unlawfully killed] or killed?

Of course if we were all infallible, then this would never happen, but we are human and therefore infallible, we make mistakes. That’s why Jesus teaches us that we should forgive those that trespass against us.

We shouldn’t play God, even atheists would agree with that ironically. What the Lord has Given let no man Take away.
iwona 12 | 542  
7 Dec 2006 /  #9
That is true. I think that life sentence can be also quite painful punishment.
Crazy Horse - | 13  
7 Dec 2006 /  #10
Put yourself in the shoes of the "Fisherman" John Paul II. Remember when he was shot by that Turkish criminal? If it were you who was shot would you forgive the man? His intent was clearly to kill the Pontif. Of that there is no doubt. There were many eye witnesses. Would you want him dead?

Should Bin Laden be permitted to live? Remember the London bombings, and the Twinn Towers in NY. Thousands of inocent civilians dead. Would you simply place the SOB in a comfortable jail cell to live his life out in lavish splendor, or maybe one day be pardoned?

If the allies had captured Aldof Hitler would you still say that he should be put in prison rather than put to death?

I have to agree that there can and is sometimes an element of doubt concerning guilt and inocense. Courts do not render decisions of "Inocent", but rather of "Not Guilty." There is a difference.

There are also cases where there is absolutely NO DOUBT concerning guilt. Witnesses, films, DNA, that showand confirm the crime and guilt. In these cases the death penalty is warented and just.
Stupidwelsh  
7 Dec 2006 /  #11
I would allow God to decide the date of anyone's death
Crazy Horse - | 13  
8 Dec 2006 /  #12
"I would allow God to decide the date of anyone's death"

He already does, thus justifing the death penalty.
Arien  
8 Dec 2006 /  #13
the death penalty is something monkeys would want. I think us humans should know better. and even if you had a reason to justify such punishment, will it change anything?

a life long sentence is punishment enough, it serves society, and we as a society which claims to have ''moral values'' should uphold those values.

if you call for someone else's death, whatever the reason, you're not upholding your own values. :)
ola123  
8 Dec 2006 /  #14
Recently in Poland young man killed his young girlfriend that was pregnant (9th month). He used a knife........ This murderer will live in jail till the end of his life doing f*** all living for my taxes. Why do I have to pay for that? The worst is that he will be able to go out of jail after 25 years. I dont agree with that law, he doesnt deserve to be free never and he doesnt deserve to live for money earned by normal people.
Crazy Horse - | 13  
8 Dec 2006 /  #15
I feel the same way Ola. In my opinion such a person (animal) is wasting good breathing air. Is it so wrong to seek revenge. Because even a life sentence is a form of societies revenge for a criminal act.

Those of you who disagree may never have been the victim of a serious crime, but should one of your loved ones be murdered by such a person (animal) and if you were given the chance would you not take his life?

As I said before, had Hitler (the SOB) been captured would he not deserve to be put to death? Just ask some of your grand parents.
Babylon 16 | 192  
8 Dec 2006 /  #16
Recently in Poland young man killed his young girlfriend that was pregnant (9th month). He used a knife........ This murderer will live in jail till the end of his life doing f*** all living for my taxes. Why do I have to pay for that? The worst is that he will be able to go out of jail after 25 years. I dont agree with that law, he doesnt deserve to be free never and he doesnt deserve to live for money earned by normal people.

Did you see him on TV? He was a normal guy, He love her girlfriend very much, She wonted to stop their relationship and she didnt want him to look over never-born child, he did 20 blows to her but none of them abdomen not to harm child, he was normal then something heppen it can goes to anyone, so no death to him
ola123  
8 Dec 2006 /  #17
So killing woman is okay? Eh? Your post sounds like that......... He killed woman but didnt want to hurt the kid so no death to him.... oh and he loved her very much it was her fault and he was just a normal guy but this girlfriend was bad...... OMG I just cant believe you wrote that.
Babylon 16 | 192  
8 Dec 2006 /  #18
I mean that until this accident he was normal all "witnesses" said: that he couldnt do that, etc. I'm not saying he is good, and the victim is bad, i'm just trying to understand why he did what he did? Why man who is normal starts to do such things! You can not know "what it's like" if you are not in he's shoes (Everlast song). Try to understand "why"?

I will say in another way for bastards like Hitler, Stalin etc. no way "death penalty", but not everyone should be sentenced to death, look what happens in US, there almost everyone get death penalty, even if they did not kill but told somebody to do so.
Templar  
8 Dec 2006 /  #19
What I find ironic about democracy is that in a democratic country where around 70% citizens strongly support the capital punishment, it cannot be restored because the representatives of some elites say they know better :). I'm not saying that I'm enthusiastic about death penalty but I feel it should be implemented in some cases... Some people say it wouldn't deter criminals or reduce criminal rates (I'm almost sure it would, though) but it is something of a basic justice. If someone murders with cold blood, laughs during the trial and says he would do the same again (there have been such situations) then I think that the penalty other than death penalty is simply unjust.
Grzegorz_ 52 | 6,181  
8 Dec 2006 /  #20
it cannot be restored because the representatives of some elites say they know better

It's because of EU rules.
Crazy Horse - | 13  
8 Dec 2006 /  #21
The elitists don't live among we common folk. They live in upscale, guarded/protected areas. Some would say they live in ivory towers. How often do you see politicians, judges and the like taking public transportation? Not very often I'll wager. It's easy to set rules for other people when you have a seperate set of rules for yourself.

It is often said that there are two (2) sets of law. One for the common citizen and another for the rich. That's completely wrong. There are only laws for the common citizen. The rich do not have to live by the law.

Do ony of you think for one instant that if that man (murderer) had gotten away with his crime that he would have taken care of that baby? Would he have supported that child and seen to it's education? I think not! Will he help support it from jail? HA!

It is only too bad that he didn't kill himself or had resisted arrest and the police would have had to shoot him dead. The world will not be a better place because he is still alive. There's always hope that some other criminal will kill him in prison. Then justice will be served.

And after all, it was only a woman he killed...right? (Being sarcastic and cynical.)

Just my humble opinion (JMHO).
ola123  
9 Dec 2006 /  #22
And after all, it was only a woman he killed...right? (Being sarcastic and cynical.)

This man killed his baby too (but he didnt want to hurt it of course, only mother).

Yet this is quite ironic too.

Your post Babylon is very strange:

You can not know "what it's like" if you are not in he's shoes

Yuo are trying to defent this murderer? Im sorry but there is nothing in this world that could excuse such a disgusting crime! This is why he will sit in the jail till the end of his life (but after 25 years he can try to go out which is scary) for double murder.
Grzegorz_ 52 | 6,181  
9 Dec 2006 /  #23
Im sorry but there is nothing in this world that could excuse such a disgusting crime!

True. He should be hanged.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,401  
9 Dec 2006 /  #24
He was a normal guy,

Do murderers have a special look?

He love her girlfriend very much,

Obviously not.

until this accident

Murder is not an accident.

What you guys are saying is that this young man made a premeditated decision to kill the girl but not the baby. Do I understand correctly ?

If so, he should suffer the maximum sentence the courts can pass.

It is pointless to discuss the death penalty because that choice is not and will not be available. It is a condition of entry to the European Union.
Crazy Horse - | 13  
9 Dec 2006 /  #25
"It is pointless to discuss the death penalty because that choice is not and will not be available. It is a condition of entry to the European Union."

Since that is the conditionof being in the EU then I feel it only right that the EU should(colectively) pay for the cost of this man's incarceration. But i'll bet that's not the way it works.
user98765  
21 Jan 2007 /  #26
sorry, haven`t read all posts yet but I know the topic. I`ve heard that LPF (League of Polish Families) introduced an initiative to make a referendum at the same time as elections. :)) Well known PR trick. Our government (Russian) even had to forbid in 2002 any referendums at times of elections (because every time an election approaches lots of crazy people inroduced populistic ideas sort of "are you agree that there should be justice for poor and punishment for criminals?"). So, death penalty is a well known populictic tric.

To be serious, death penalty should not exist. If it does it symbolyses 2 things.
1. We reject the idea of free will and treat people like anymals.
2. We take right to decide who is humane (and has a chance to repent) and who is not.
And in both cases we start from people who murdered children and end with... blacks, asians, communists, rich, poor, and all other "scientifically proven" not to be humans and only worth dying.

As for "prevention" it is 100% the same as terrorism. We can not explain how our cruelty lead to moral improvent but we "belive" it will... just like terrorists do.

Yours!
Wroclaw 44 | 5,401  
21 Jan 2007 /  #27
It is pointless to discuss the death penalty because that choice is not and will not be available. It is a condition of entry to the European Union.

Nuff said.
Klausz  
10 May 2007 /  #28
According to "Wprost" newspaper (25 June 2006) in the last year the amount of homicides in Poland was 2.1 on 100 000 citizens. In Germany it was 3.0, and in USA 5.5.

When it comes to the number of rapes in 2005 per 100 000 citizens, the situation looks like this: Poland 5.1; England and Wales 7.78; Germany 10.7; Sweden 29.03; and USA 32.2.

Matyjasz stats are very interesting. I wonder what would be the panorama on handguns in Poland. Many people have them in their homes? Does anybody carry? Do Polish believe restricting legal handguns helps reducing crime, or it is the opposite?

Anyone knows?

According to "Wprost" newspaper (25 June 2006) in the last year the amount of homicides in Poland was 2.1 on 100 000 citizens. In Germany it was 3.0, and in USA 5.5.

When it comes to the number of rapes in 2005 per 100 000 citizens, the situation looks like this: Poland 5.1; England and Wales 7.78; Germany 10.7; Sweden 29.03; and USA 32.2.

Matyjasz stats are very interesting. I wonder what would be the panorama on handguns in Poland. Many people have them in their homes? Does anybody carry? Do Polish believe restricting legal handguns helps reducing crime, or it is the opposite?

Anyone knows?
daffy 23 | 1,508  
10 May 2007 /  #29
'The life of david gale' is a great story RE why there should be no death penalty.
We got rid of it in Ireland not so long ago (it was never used BUT it was a protection of our UNARMED police, that to kill a member of the police force could incur the death penalty)

I thought it should have remained as a proctective barrier to our 'Gardai' (police) as it was not mandatory BUT served as a warning - esp today as gun crimes are on the rise again in Ireland.

Was it used in Poland over the last 17 years?
xue  
31 May 2007 /  #30
Anybody realise that the death penalty attracts certain weirdo's like carbombers, insane patients and other sicko's who actually want to die? For them the only punishment is to make them live. If you want to prevent them from eating on your back ( the tax you pay, ) make them work in prison. You like America? Whether you like it or not, inmates in american prisons sometimes do forced labour. But death penalty in the US does not prevent the prisons from becoming bigger and bigger and fuller and fuller, all eating from the taxes poor workers pay. Not to speak of the horrors caused by dubious judgments and failing juries.

Borrow the best ideas from all over the world, not the worst.

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