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    Most Russians in favor of death penalty - survey

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    The overwhelming majority of Russians (79%) consider the death penalty an acceptable punishment for crimes such as child sex abuse, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center said

    The overwhelming majority of Russians (79%) consider the death penalty an acceptable punishment for crimes such as child sex abuse, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center said.

    On November 19, Russia's Constitutional Court extended a moratorium on capital punishment, which was due to expire on January 1. The court said that the ban, introduced in 1999, had begun an "irreversible process" toward the abolition of the death penalty in the country.

    "A total of 79% of Russians consider it acceptable to apply the death penalty, primarily, to those found guilty of raping minors. A total of 17% are against such a punishment, and 5% did not give an answer," a statement said.

    According to the survey, most of the respondents (65%) said capital punishment should also be applied to terrorists, while 27% said it should not, and 7% unsure. Of those questioned, 61% consider drug dealers should be punished in such a way, while 30% were against and 8% did not answer.

    The survey also showed 60% were in favor of the death penalty for people who committed premeditated murders. Such a position is unacceptable for 31% of those questioned, with 9% unsure.

    The majority of respondents said the death penalty should not be applied to corrupt officials (66%), to those found guilty of treason and espionage (65%), of armed robbery (62%), of organizing a military coup (59%) and attempting to kill the head of state (54%).

    Some 1,600 people in 140 localities and 42 regions took part in the poll, with a statistical margin of error within 3.4%.

    MOSCOW, December 7 (RIA Novosti)

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