Majority of Poles oppose capital punishment despite PM’s support for its reintroduction

A total of 54 percent of Poles do not believe the death penalty should be reintroduced

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk

The majority of Poles remain opposed to the reintroduction of capital punishment in the country, despite Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s revelation earlier this month that he in principle supports the death penalty for the “heaviest crimes.”

According to polling conducted by the Institute for Economic and Social Research (IBRiS) for the Rzeczpospolita newspaper, a total of 54 percent of respondents disagree with Morawiecki’s stance on the death penalty, compared to 39 percent who are in favor of its reintroduction.

The poll referenced Morawiecki’s remarks from the beginning of the year in which he suggested the death penalty should be allowed in cases “dealing with a serial murderer where evidence leaves no room for doubt, or a war criminal.”

The Polish prime minister added that he was aware of the stance of the Catholic Church on the issue, the current regulations in Polish law, and the norms of international law, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Almost four in ten respondents (38 percent) remain strongly opposed to the death penalty, while 16 percent are “rather against” it. In contrast, 18 percent “strongly agree” with the prime minister on the issue, and 21 percent “rather agree.”

Morawiecki, however, does have the majority of support from his own Law and Justice (PiS) party’s voters. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) back the reintroduction of capital punishment, while 26 percent are against it.

The last execution in Poland took place 35 years ago, on April 21, 1988, in the Montelupich prison in Kraków.

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