Duma To Bar Jurors From Grave Crimes To End Acquittals
The Russian State Duma is likely to pass a law bill on Friday that will bar trial by jury for cases of terrorism, espionage, treason, subversion, and mass disorder instigation in order to end the growing number of acquittals.
Vladimir Vasilyev from the ruling United Russia Party, who initiated the bill, complained that 28 criminal cases against terrorists in 2005-2008 resulted in twelve acquittals by the jurors.
"In southern Russian regions acquittals by jurors of members of illegal armed formations and organized criminal groups engaged in terrorist activities on the Russian territory have become more frequent of late," he said.
According to Vasilyev, it is necessary to drop the trial by jury in order to "enhance the efficiency of terrorism prevention".
"If terrorists are released, how can we look into the eyes of the relatives of the victims of (terrorist acts in) Beslan and Nord-Ost?" he asked.
According to the lawbill, 12 jurors will be replaced by three professional judges in such cases.
It will also raise to 20-year imprisonment the punishment for hostage-taking, creation of an illegal armed formation, espionage, the armed seizure of power or mutiny, and terrorism financing.
Punishment for killing hostages will rise up to life imprisonment, and for subversion - to 15-20 years.
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| ||Source: Itar-Tass|| |