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THE DEATH PENALTY

This survey was carried out October 24–30, 2019 with a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample comprised 1616 people ages 18 or older from 137 localities in 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the number of participants along with data from previous surveys.

The statistical error of these studies for a selection of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:

3.4% for indicators around 50%
2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%
2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%
1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING OPINIONS CONCERNING THE DEATH PENALTY WOULD YOU AGREE WITH? (respondents were presented with a card and could only choose one answer)

  Feb. 02 Apr. 07 Jun. 09 Jun. 13 Jun. 15 Jan. 17 Oct. 19
The death penalty should be completely abolished 12 19 14 11 14 16 19
The status quo should be maintained (death sentences have been suspended; courts have ceased passing death sentences) 12 19 20 23 27 25 21
The death penalty should be restored to past levels (like it was at the beginning of the 1990s) 49 39 37 38 31 32 33
More death penalties should be carried out 19 14 16 16 13 12 16
It is difficult to say 8 10 13 11 16 15 10

Opinions on death penalty in relation to age and education level

  Age Education
18-24 25-39 40-54 55+ Higher Vocational Secondary and below
The death penalty should be completely abolished 35 20 16 16 23 17 19
The status quo should be maintained (death sentences have been suspended; courts have ceased passing death sentences) 21 26 22 18 24 22 17
The death penalty should be restored to past levels (like it was at the beginning of the 1990s) 26 29 36 38 31 34 37
More death penalties should be carried out 9 17 17 17 15 17 16
It is difficult to say 10 8 10 11 8 10 12

FOR WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING CRIMES WOULD YOU SUGGEST THE DEATH PENALTY AS A PUNISHMENT? (respondents were presented with a card from which they could choose more than one answer; ranked in descending order according to October 2019)

  Jul. 07 Oct. 19
The rape of minors 65 72
Serial murder 71 64
Premeditated murder 48 45
Terrorism, plotting a coup d’état 32 44
Drug trafficking 39 39
Corruption 16 26
Treason, espionage (in peacetime) 13 18
Assassination attempt on the head of government 9 12
Armed robbery 11 11
Other (“pedophilia,” “animal cruelty,”
“kidnapping,” etc.)
1 1
The death penalty is unacceptable in all cases 8 11
It is difficult to say 4 3

WHAT MEASURES ARE MOST LIKELY TO HELP LOWER CRIME RATES? (respondents were presented with a card from which they could choose more than one answer; ranked in descending order)

  Oct. 19
More severe punishments 45
Better and more effective work by the police and law-enforcement agencies 44
A general improvement in people’s well-being 38
Teaching people to be more tolerant of others and respectful of others’ lives 27
Ensuring the independence of courts from the executive branch of government and their impartiality 24
Other (“decreasing social stratification,” “private judges,” “making punishment inescapable,” etc.) 1
None 2
It is difficult to say 4

In July 2017, the question allowed only one answer, and we, therefore, calculated the answers for October 2019 to 100%

  Jul.07 Oct.19
More severe punishments 31 25
Better and more effective work by the police and law-enforcement agencies 17 24
A general improvement in people’s well-being 23 20
Teaching people to be more tolerant of others and respectful of others’ lives 17 14
Ensuring the independence of courts from the executive branch of government
 and their impartiality
7 13
Other (“decreasing social stratification,” “private judges,” “making punishment inescapable,” etc.) 1 1
None 1 1
It is difficult to say 3 2

Translated by Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly Monterey Institute of International Studies).

The ANO Levada Center has been included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents. Read the Director of the Levada Center’s statement of disagreement with this decision here.

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