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LITHUANIA - Abolitionist

Government: parliamentary democracy
State of civil and political rights: Free
Constitution: 25 October 1992, last amended 13 July 2004
Legal System: based on civil law system
Legislative System: Unicameral Parliament (Seimas)
Judicial System: Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; judges for all courts appointed by the President
Religion: Roman Catholic 79%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Protestant 1.9%, other


International Treaties on the Death Penalty and Human Rights:
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • 1st Optional Protocol to the Covenant
  • Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (aiming to the abolition of the death penalty)
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
  • 6th Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (concerning the abolition of the death penalty)
  • European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances
  • Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty)


FACTS

Lithuania abolished the death penalty for all crimes in 1998 after the Lithuanian Constitutional Court, on December 9, held that the provisions of the Criminal Code on the death penalty were unconstitutional.
On December 22, 1998 the Lithuanian Parliament passed a law amending several provisions of the Criminal Code and confirming the abolition of the death penalty. At the same time, another law was passed converting death sentences already pronounced to life imprisonment.
At the time of abolition in 1998, nine prisoners were thought to be on death row. The last person executed, in July 1995, was Lithuanian Mafia boss Boris Dekanidze, for complicity in the murder of a journalist.
A legal moratorium on executions was established in 1996, following a presidential decree. On January 29, 2004 Lithuania deposited with the Council of Europe the instrument of ratification of Protocol No 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms banning the death penalty in all circumstances.
On December 20, 2012, Lithuania co-sponsored and voted in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.

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