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The PM’s remark about death penalty

May 26th, 2014

A conservative columnist comments on PM Orbán’s remark about the death penalty points out that taking someone’s life is contrary to Christian values, even if such measures would help to save other lives through discouraging criminals from violent acts.

On Friday, PM Orbán in his weekly interview to Kossuth Radio defended Hungary’s right to sentence criminals to effective life imprisonment, after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that such verdicts are contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights (see BudaPost May 23). PM Orbán said that the prospect of harsh penalties deter criminals from wrongdoing. In an aside, he added that the death penalty “would be worth a mass as well”. “Taking away a life undeniably poses a grave moral dilemma, but it may also save other lives through discouraging criminals,” PM Orbán said.

If we really want to have a Christian Europe, the possibility of introducing the death penalty should not even be put on the table, Szabolcs Vörös writes in Magyar Hírlap, in a rare article in the pro-government daily critical of the Prime Minister. The conservative columnist believes that the prospect of imprisonment for life is harsh enough to frighten wrong-doers away from violent crimes. Taking someone’s life, even if it helps indirectly to protect other lives, would be contrary to core Christian values, Vörös argues and goes on to warn that if the government reintroduced the death penalty, it would be the end of its claim to champion Christian values. In conclusion, Vörös hopes that PM Orbán’s statement is only part of the European Parliamentary election campaign, and will have no repercussions.

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