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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Duma Extends Death Moratorium

The State Duma on Friday effectively extended by three years a 10-year moratorium on the death penalty by putting off the introduction of juries in Chechen courts.

The Duma gave its final approval Friday to a bill under which juries would replace traditional panels of three professional judges in Chechnya from 2010, rather than 2007 as was initially planned.

Russia, which still has capital punishment in its Criminal Code, has observed a moratorium on carrying out death sentences since 1996.

Three years later, the Constitutional Court ruled that no court could sentence criminals to death until all of them had switched to jury trials. Chechnya remains the last region with no juries because of technical problems, officials say.

Meanwhile, Europe's human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, reiterated its call over the weekend for Russia to abolish the death penalty.