Russia: The Crime on Everyone's Lips

While Soviet authorities maintain that crime is a bourgeois phenomenon that will wither away under Communism, they have found capital punishment no easier to abolish than the illicit pursuit of capital. The death penalty was dropped in 1947 (not counting secret executions in the cellar of Lubianka Prison, of course), but during the '50s. capital punishment was gradually restored—for murder, treason, espionage and sabotage. Last year, to cope with a rash of get-rich-quick racketeering, the courts were permitted to decree death for counterfeiters, big-time embezzlers of public property and currency speculators. Fortnight ago, Moscow broadened the list of capital...

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