RUSSIA: CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ASKED TO RULE ON DEATH PENALTY MORATORIUM
October 29, 2009: A plenary session of Russia's Supreme Court asked the Constitutional Court to rule on whether capital punishment could again be legal in Russia from January 1.
The Constitutional Court said it could consider the issue on November 3.
"Because of the urgency and the extraordinary significance of the question posed, a decision to accept the consideration of the application could be taken at the next plenary meeting of judiciary on November 3, 2009," the court's press service said in a statement.
In February 1999, the Constitutional Court introduced a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, ruling that no court could sentence criminals to death until all courts had switched to jury trials.
However, jury trials have now been established throughout Russia. Chechnya will become the final Russian republic to institute jury trials on January 1, 2010.
Supreme Court Justice Vladimir Davydov said the possible use of capital punishment in Russia from 2010 would come into conflict with Russia's international commitments. (Sources: RIA Novosti, 29/10/2009)