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Death Penalty in Poland - Recent Discussion in Polish Media

Death Penalty Laws

PIS - Samoobrona - LPR coalition proposes European debate on reinstatement of death penalty. The project of penal code amendment has been prepared by LPR. Accordingly to the amendment death penalty would be applied in case of homicide commitment, with particular cruelty on sexual background, against a child of less than 15 years of age. LPR also postulates for recognition of pedophilia as a crime. LPR has launched an action of gaining signatures under an application for referendum on death penalty for such crimes.

In the letter to Polish president Lech Kaczynski, Rene van der Linden, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, stated that death penalty abolishment is the basis of membership in the organization. He also reminded that the Council of Europe demanded that every new member state would meet the criteria. He showed his deep concern about the proposal of death penalty reinstatement in Europe. "Abolishment of death penalty in all circumstances is the basis of the Council of Europe policy," he said.

Poland Death Penalty

Van der Linden's appeal is connected with recent words of Lech Kaczynski in Polish media, that he personally is and has always been a death penalty supporter.

In van der Linden's point of view creation of death penalty free zone in Europe, covering 46 member states, from Iceland in the West to Vladyvostok in the East, and from Norway in the North to Turkey in the South is among the greatest achievements of the Council of Europe. In the opinion of the Coucil of Europe death penalty should not take place in penal system of any modern and civilized state. "To suggest that its introduction might in any respect indicate progress is to directly attack our common values, which are based on the protection of a basic human dignity of each and every individual," he wrote. "Reinstatement of death penalty would create a backward step in development of European area of respect for such values as democracy, human rights and rule of law," he says.

Rene van der Linded enhanced the fact that death penalty reinstatement would become an evident violation of requirements described by European Convention of Human Rights, which is a guarantee of fundamental values represented by the Council of Europe.

He added that, due to great importance of the matter in question, the Parliamentary Assembly would be closely observing the course of events. "I do hope that bearing in mind these objections, you will revise your opinion and withdraw your proposal," he wrote in the letter to the Polish president. The Polish people's opinions on death penalty in Poland do not align with the president's opinion either (source:

The Council of Europe is an international organization embracing almost all European states. Its main concerns are human rights, protection of democracy and cultural cooperation of its member states. It was founded on the 5th of May 1949 and now has 48 members. It is seated in Strasbourg. Poland has been a member of the Coucil of Europe since November 1991.

Death penalty abolishment is also a necessary requirement to become a member state of European Union. All EU members have signed and ratified protocol of European Convention of Human Rights on Death Penalty Abolishment.

Death penalty has not been performed in Poland since 1988 and since the 1st of September 1998 it was abolished by new penal code of 1997 and replaced with life term imprisonment penalty.