Russian senator says death sentence for terrorists unworkable even without moratorium

United Russia Senator Andrey Klishas weighed in on the possible return of the death penalty on Wednesday, warning that even if the moratorium on capital punishment in places since 1996 were lifted, sentencing terrorists to death would remain legally impossible.

Noting the increased discussion of the topic in light of last week’s Crocus City Hall terror attack, in which 140 people were killed and another 360 were injured, Klishas argued that more would be necessary to reinstate the death penalty than simply the acquiescence of the Constitutional Court, as State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin had previously claimed.

The Russian Constitution allowed the death penalty in exceptional cases and only for those convicted of particularly serious crimes in a jury trial, Klishas said, adding that, under current legislation, terrorism did not fall into those categories and carried a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Klishas said that Russian law allows for the death penalty only for culpable homicide, attacks on select public servants and statesmen, and genocide.

“In view of the above, ‘experts’ and lawyers pointing to the Constitutional Court as an obstacle to ‘fair retribution’ after the tragic events at Crocus City Hall … is unfair speculation,” Klishas added.

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