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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Execution Ban Urged

MOSCOW -- Russia must step up its efforts to put a moratorium on the death sentence into law ahead of presidential elections in 2000 or face possible executions under a new leader, an official body said Tuesday.

Officials have said President Boris Yeltsin will sign decrees this week commuting all of Russia's outstanding death sentences to lengthy prison terms, but capital punishment remains on the books.

Anatoly Pristavkin, head of the Presidential Pardons Commission, urged reluctant Russian deputies to do away with capital punishment.

Pristavkin said he believed most presidential candidates support capital punishment as a measure against rising crime.