Capital punishment in Slovakia

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Capital punishment in Slovakia (Slovak: Trest smrti) was abolished in 1990 and the most severe punishment permissible by law is life imprisonment. Before that, capital punishment was common in Czechoslovakia, Slovak State, Austria-Hungary, Kingdom of Hungary and probably all previous political entities that existed in the area of today's Slovakia. Since 1989, no one was executed in Slovakia with a few controversial political killings by the Slovak Secret Service in the 1990s.[1][2] Since then, there have been no reports of the government or its agents committing arbitrary or unlawful killings.[3]

The last person executed in Slovakia remains Štefan Svitek (28) from Podbrezová who killed his wife and two daughters with an axe in 1987 and he was executed on June 8, 1989 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (at that time).[4]

Background[edit]

Capital punishment was common in the Austrian Monarchy (with a short exception from 1787 to 1795 under the rule of Joseph II) in Austria-Hungary, and from 1918 in the newly created Czechoslovakia. From 1918 to 1989, 1217 people were executed legally, the majority of them immediately after World War II. Due to chaos in historical records the actual number may be slightly different. This number doesn't include people executed during the occupation of the Czech lands from 1939 to 1945 or during the existence of the Slovak State (thousands were executed at that time; of these about 1079 were guillotined in Pankrác prison).

During the presidency of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1918–35) 16 people were executed, 4 of the for military related crimes. Masaryk was an opponent of capital punishment and had the privilege of commuting death sentences, one he exercised frequently.[clarification needed]

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