On Thursday, 1 December, the Saeima in the final reading adopted amendments to the Criminal Law abolishing the death penalty from Latvia’s criminal justice system.
The amendments to the Criminal Law render the death penalty completely abolished from the penal system. Thus Latvia has fulfilled the requirements of Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms regarding abolishment of the death penalty in all circumstances, including acts committed in time of war. The Saeima ratified the Convention in October last year.
Imposition of the death penalty and execution of convicts was discontinued in Latvia in 1996. Although Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which Latvia signed in 2002, abolishes the death penalty for acts committed in time of war, until now the Criminal Law allowed the death penalty to be imposed for a murder committed by a male in especially aggravating circumstances in time of war.
Protocol No. 13 of the Convention states that the death penalty must be abolished and that it may not be imposed and executed under any circumstances, for the right to life is a basic value in a democratic society.
Likewise, today the Saeima adopted amendments to the Law on Clemency and the Law on Enactment and Application of the Criminal Law.
Saeima Press service