Two Death Sentences for 2004

2005 2005-01-25T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

In 2004 Belarusian authorities sentenced two people to capital punishment. On 24 January the head of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus Valiantsin Sukala informed journalists about it. According to him, it witnesses that “Belarus really came up to the introduction of moratorium on death punishment”.

The head of the Supreme Court believes that the alternative to the capital punishment is the life sentence, introduced by the new Criminal code. In 2004 twelve persons were sentenced to it for especially hard felonies.

According to Sukala, last year the courts of Belarus considered more than 68 000 criminal cases. 85,6% were punished for the crimes, which weren’t especially dangerous for the society. 27,2% were sentenced to imprisonment, which is 4% smaller than in 2003. In the beginning of 2005 about 33 000 thousands people are kept in jail, whereas the maximal capacity of all Belarusian prisons is 33 480 persons, -- said V. Sukala.

Of those who were sentenced to imprisonment 43% were judged for property crimes, 15% -- for premeditated murders, 6% -- for drugs, 5% -- for hooliganism.

V. Sukala called the last year generally successful for the court system of the country. At the same time, there are certain problems. First of all, he pointed, it is necessary to continue the work on increase of the culture and the level of justice (in 2004 there were 14 cases of groundless punishment and one judge was caught when receiving a bribe). The second problem is “too careful” usage of economical sanctions as tools of punishment towards non-dangerous criminals: fines constitute only 8% of the overall number of the sentences.

According to BelaPAN