Budapest (MTI) – Hungary has no plans to introduce the death penalty, “it is only a matter of debates,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban told European Parliament president Martin Schulz on Thursday.
POLITICAL ANALYSTS DISCUSS DEATH PENALTY ISSUE
Orban and Schulz discussed the issue over the phone, cabinet chief Janos Lazar told his weekly press briefing.
Orban also told European People’s Party leader Joseph Daul and group leader Manfred Weber that a debate is ongoing in Hungary about the death penalty but European Union laws will be respected, Lazar added.
The cabinet chief repeated Orban’s comments in connection with the recent brutal murder of a shop assistant in Kaposvar, stating that the introduction of the “three-strikes” law and real life sentences did not have sufficient effect to prevent crime and therefore the death penalty should be kept on the agenda. In cases of brutal crimes committed against children, old people and vulnerable persons, there is social demand for retaliation and many people in Hungary believe that only the death penalty could hold back certain people from committing such crimes, he added.
“This is what needs to be discussed with our voters,” Lazar said.
“The unbelievable social outcry that has developed in connection with serious crimes might not be heard in Brussels but it is heard in Budapest,” Lazar added. Hungary respects the EU legal system as a whole and the EU, as a most important guardian of democracy, should not reject any debate that concerns people’s lives and difficulties.
Lazar said he was personally a supporter of the death penalty but his voice was only one in eight million. He also added that he had never heard from Orban that he would support capital punishment.
The Christian Democrats’ opposition to death penalty clearly indicates that a dialogue on this subject postponed for 30 years should be conducted. A dialogue like this will not endanger Europe’s fundamental values in any form, he said.
The government will review next Wednesday how Hungarian courts had enforced the “three strikes” laws and real life sentences.