Russia prolongs suspension of death penalty

The Russia’s State Duma, Parliament's lower house, has postponed discussion on a bill re-introducing the death penalty in Russia. The death penalty was suspended because of the situation in the Chechen Republic.

The republic is currently unable to provide trial by jury, a mandatory requirement to sentence people to death. That is why the death penalty in Russia was suspended. The deadline for the introduction of a jury system in Chechnya has been extended to 2010.

Russia committed itself to abolish the death penalty when it joined the Council of Europe in 1996 like all other Member States of the organisation, but postponed its implementation twice.

In 1999 a Russian court ruled the death penalty could only be given when someone was convicted by a jury.