On April 12, the Council of the State Duma decided to return the draft law on the exclusion of the death penalty from the Criminal Code to its authors, Vedomosti reports . Now the death penalty is one of the types of punishment provided for in the Criminal Code, but is not applied in Russia due to the moratorium established by the Constitutional Court.
The bill, which was submitted to the State Duma back in 2001, provided for the complete exclusion of the phrase "death penalty" from the Criminal Code. The authors of the initiative were 30 deputies of the State Duma of the III convocation.
Among them were representatives of the SPS faction, such as Boris Nemtsov, Yegor Gaidar, Sergei Kovalev, Boris Nadezhdin and others. Nemtsov was killed in 2015, Gaidar died in 2009, and Kovalev in 2021. Nadezhdin, in response to an inquiry from Vedomosti, said that he was not notified of the withdrawal of the initiative.
In 2014, one of the co-authors of the bill, MP Elena Mizulina from A Just Russia, who had previously been a member of the Union of Right Forces, withdrew her signature from the bill. Its other authors from the Union of Right Forces have not been in the State Duma for a long time. Pavel Krasheninnikov, who is now a member of the United Russia party, remains the only current State Duma deputy listed as a co-sponsor of the initiative.
The bill was withdrawn in accordance with Part 4 of Art. 114 of the regulations of the State Duma. This paragraph provides for the possibility of returning initiatives to authors if it provides for changes in laws that have expired. Another way to get rid of a "hanging" bill is to reject it as a result of a vote.
The need to deal with initiatives that have been under consideration for too long was spoken in February 2023 by State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, raising the problem of the effectiveness of the work of deputies.
As Boris Nadezhdin explained to Vedomosti, according to the regulations, the State Duma cannot initiate consideration of a law if another initiative on this topic has already passed one of the readings. Thus, we can assume that they are preparing to submit a bill on the death penalty to the State Duma.
Earlier, the head of the Russian-annexed Ukrainian Crimea stated that “it is necessary to bring to life” officials in the Russian Ministry of Defense and noted that during the Second World War they would have faced the death penalty. The need to lift the moratorium was spoken by the leader of the "Fair Russia" Sergei Mironov, who sent a letter to the head of the Constitutional Court with such an appeal. This decision is supported by the head of the Liberal Democratic Party Leonid Slutsky.