Religious persecution is certainly possible (we had it here as well under the commies), but not necessary – many people from Ukraine seem to have been deported just because. That’s why that Crimean Tatar girl won Eurovision a few years ago. Many of our Bessarabian Bulgarians were also deported to Siberia without any serious reason.

As for the death penalty, I’m generally in favour. The alternative, IMO, is forced labour. Otherwise we reach the Scandinavian situation where the prisons turn into hotels, where the honest taxpayers’ money go for feeding the criminals, some of which continue committing crimes from behind bars (our telephone crooks, f.e.) and/or enjoy a relative level of luxury there (I remember the first time I saw a Swedish or Norwegian prison on TV, I thought “Eh, why would any criminal want to avoid that? Heck, poor people might even commit crimes just to get in there!”). Of course, these harshest verdicts should come only for the harshest crimes and should be executed only after a certain waiting period (to avoid false convictions and political persecution).