RUSSIA: Humane Gesture

This week Russia announced the abolition of the death penalty in peacetime.

Said the Moscow radio with a self-conscious tremolo: "The historic victory of the Soviet people over the enemy has . . . demonstrated . . . the exceptional devotion of the entire population . . . toward the Soviet motherland. . . . For crimes punishable by the death sentence under laws now in force [the courts will] apply in peacetime confinement in corrective labor camps for 25 years."

Official, fully legal execution has been used rather sparingly in the U.S.S.R. Since estimates of labor-camp prisoners run from five...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!