View Full Version : Death penalty in Czarist Russia

03-12-2018, 01:34 PM
I was a little surprised to read in one of the chapters a character exclaim, "We don't have the death penalty, do we? Or something like that. I had a look on Wikipedia, which says the Russians did have capital punishment during the nineteenth century, but it was not applied often. Peter the Great increased the number of crimes punishable by execution, but Catherine the Great abolished it except for certain kinds of insurrection. By and large, executions were not carried out. Instead convicted criminals were punished by years of hard labour.

That's interesting. I had assumed the Russia was less liberal that most of Europe on such things, as serfdom was not abolished until 1861. Britain executed decreasingly fewer people during the nineteenth century, but we did not abolish it as a form of punishment until 1965, except for High Treason, and no one was for executed for that, not even Major Hewitt.

03-30-2018, 10:05 AM
Saying that, I have read that Dostoevsky was arrested and sentenced to death himself. Apparently he was involved in a small way with some revolutionaries or free thinkers. He was taken out to be shot, but then given a reprieve by the czar and sentenced to four years breaking rocks in Siberia.