A deputy of the Russian parliament believes the present-day severe reality dictates the necessity to retrieve the death penalty practice in Russia
Vice-speaker of the State Duma, Vladimir Katrenko, has recently made a statement, which may aggravate Russia's relations with the European Union. Katrenko, who also chairs the Duma's committee for North Caucasus, said that Russia needs to reinstate death penalty for terrorist activities.
Boris Yeltsin signed a moratorium on the death penalty in 1996 to let Russia become a member of the Council of Europe. The chairman of the State Duma committee for civil and penal legislation, Pavel Krasheninnikov, stated the Russian Constitutional Court supported the moratorium and barred death sentences on 2 February 1999. It is noteworthy that Russian courts do not have a right to bring death sentences for criminals until all Russian regions have their juries. The State Duma is currently working on a draft law on the introduction of the jury in Chechnya: this is the only republic of the Russian Federation, which does not have its jury yet.
Vladimir Katrenko stated, however, that Russia should retrieve the death penalty practice and use this measure as the extreme punishment for terrorist and hostage-taking activities.
According to Katrenko, there was a special anti-terrorist committee established in the Russian parliament immediately after the hostage crisis in Beslan. The Duma gave the first reading to the anti-terrorist law last year. The committee has prepared 70 amendments to the law during that time. It was particularly offered to expand the notion of a terrorist act with an attempt and even a threat to commit an act of terror.
”These draft laws need to be developed thoroughly. Furthermore, it is necessary the Duma should pass them as soon as possible, taking into consideration the present-day severe reality,” Katrenko said.
Vladimir Katrenko's initiative to retrieve the death penalty in Russia has become a great surprise for members of the Russian Federation Council. The chairman of the council's committee for international affairs, Mikhail Margelov, stated that Russia would take efforts to abolish death penalty until the end of the current year.