RUSSIA. DUMA LEAVES DEATH PENALTY ON TABLE
November 20, 2007: the State Duma in Russia concluded its four-year term last week, leaving a stack of important legislation, including that of banning the death penalty, unattended to.
"That bill concerning the ratification of the sixth protocol banning the death penalty was discussed thoroughly several times but we did not gather sufficient votes to deal with the problem," Pavel Krasheninnikov, chairman of the parliamentary committee on civil and criminal legislations, told IPS.
A prominent lawmaker admitted that the majority of deputies in the State Duma were unprepared to commit themselves to getting death penalty completely abolished, although President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly called for its abolition.
Speaking at the Valdai International Discussion forum in Sochi, Putin said "the senseless nature of the death penalty has been proven by the thousand- year history of mankind and modern civilisation, toughening of punishment by itself up to the death penalty is not a panacea, is not the most efficient instrument in the struggle against crime."
"The most efficient weapon in the struggle against the crime is the inevitability of punishment, everybody knows that, and not the cruelty of punishment. Secondly, I am deeply convinced, that by using the death penalty in relation to its citizens, even criminals, the state educates its citizens in cruelty and brings forth new cruelty. And this is also harmful and counterproductive," Putin said. (Sources: IPS, 20/11/2007)