Tass reports that Putin recently stated his opposition to the death penalty in a media interview. “You know my personal attitude to death penalty. I have expressed it many times in public,” Putin told the Spanish media. “Any punishment has several goals, including reformation and retribution. There cannot be any reformation in death penalty. This is just retribution. It is even unclear who is punished, because the liquidated person feels nothing, and the society does, because it assumes a right to kill. It often happens that court orders to kill a wrong person,” Putin told the Spanish media.
Such cases happen “not only in Russia but in other countries, as well,” he said.
“Many other countries, which are still called civilized and pillars of democracy, preserve death penalty. These include the United States and Japan,” Putin said.
Clearly Russia is ahead of its erstwhile foe in realising the dangers of state sanctioned murder, especially given the propensity for law enforcement authorities to get it wrong.