Article 20 of the Russian Constitution states that everyone has the right to life, and that "until its abolition, death penalty may only be passed for the most serious crimes against human life." Additionally, all such sentences require jury trial. The inclusion of the abolition wording has been interpreted by some as a requirement that the death penalty be abolished at some point in the future.
The current Penal Code permits death penalty for five crimes:
* murder, with certain aggravating circumstances (section 105.2)
* attempted murder of a government or public official (section 277),
* attempted murder of a person carrying out justice or a preliminary investigation (section 295),
* attempted murder of a law enforcement officer (section 317),
* genocide (section 357).
No crime has a mandatory death sentence; each of the five sections mentioned above also permit a sentence of life imprisonment as well as a prison term of not less than eight or 12 (depending on crime) nor more than twenty, years. Moreover, men under the age of 18 or above the age of 65 as of the time crime was committed, and all women, are not eligible for a death sentence.
Continue reading: Capital punishment in Russia
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