AFP – The Russian Constitutional Court on Thursday ordered that the death penalty cannot be applied in Russia even after January 1 when a moratorium expires.
The end of the moratorium “does not make it possible to apply the death penalty on Russian territory,” the court’s president Valery Zorkin said in his judgement.
He said the use of death penalty in Russia was now impossible because Russia has signed international protocols banning the application of capital punishment.
Russia has observed a moratorium on the death penalty after the Constitutional Court in 1999 ruled it could not be applied until people all over Russia had access to jury trials. Since then there have been no executions.
But the Caucasus region of Chechnya will be the last Russian region to introduce jury trials from January 1.
Russia is obliged to abolish the death penalty as a member of the Council of Europe. It has signed the corresponding protocol of the European Human Rights Convention but the document has yet to be ratified by parliament.