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Presidential Republics: Comparison of US and Russia. (Authors - Young Researchers: Nodar Pkhaladze, Raffaele Galbani)

Presidential Republics: Comparison of US and Russia

The presidential government is one of the three main government types, alongside with the parliamentary and semi-presidential forms. Unlike the latter two cases, the president is a dominant figure, as well as the head of the state.1Almost always, presidential elections take the form of the direct vote of the people and the candidate can run for a limited number of terms. This kind of government is usually divided into three branches (the executive, the legislative and the judicial) and thanks to a system of checks and balances, each of them has some autonomy, but at the same time controls and is controlled by the other two. The main advantage of the presidential government, is the fact that it can be much more effective in terms of making decision. However because president has so much power, there is often a high risk of authoritarianism.

 

The Point of No Return, the Capital Punishment

The Point of No Return, the Capital PunishmentThe death penalty has been a part of human society and its legal system for centuries, regarded one of the most widely-spread ways of punishing criminals.1 However, later on this type of punishment came to be regarded as a crime against humanistic ideals by many, and its validity in the legal system has been questioned2. As the time passes by, one thing becomes more evident: that capital punishment is more of an entertainment for the public, rather than effective punishment and therefore it must be abolished. While countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and almost all of the European have already abandoned capital punishment, China, the US, Iran, Belarus, and some others still maintain it.3 In most cases, death penalty is used to punish criminals for war crimes, or serious crimes associated with physical injury or drug usage and transportation. The latter one is the serious issue in countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.4 The actual history of death penalty is almost as old as the history of mankind. Though serving the same purpose, the death sentence methods have been different thorough the history.

The earliest mentions of the usage of the execution as the form of punishment, date to the Code of Hammurabi.5 The name of the term "capital punishment" is derived from the Latin "capitalis", meaning "head"6, which is self-explanatory, considering the fact that most common form of execution was beheading. However, as the history progressed, newer methods had been applied, involving burning, hanging, drowning, crucifixion, boiling to death, electrocution, firing squad, gassing – the list can be continued. The choice of a particular method in Europe in the Middle Age, for instance, depended on the social status of the condemned. Painless and respectable ways were reserved for the aristocracy; and more painful for the common people, such as hanging or breaking on the wheel. In other cases, the choice of the method was warranted by the time of crime: witches and heretics had to be burned at the stake. The French Revolution introduced a more "humane" execution method – the guillotine. Death sentence was once used on the wide variety of crime, including petty theft, even if nobody was physically hurt. As mentioned before it is death penalty is one of the controversial topics and the matter of debate.

   

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