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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Death Penalty Question

TALLINN, Estonia () -- Estonia's government submitted a key European human-rights convention to parliament Tuesday for ratification but is opting out of a ban on capital punishment.

Debate in Estonia over scrapping the death penalty has been heated. Many leaders argue that maintaining Soviet-era law allowing executions could make it more difficult for the small Baltic nation to join European political circles.

West European nations are pressuring all former Soviet republics to abolish capital punishment as a sign of their commitment to European human-rights norms. Latvia and Lithuania also have capital punishment laws and also would like to opt out of the death-penalty prohibition in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.