Georgia: Time to abolish the death penalty
On 18 December 1996 President Eduard Shevardnadze announced that a de facto moratorium on executions was being observed. On 11 December parliament voted to further reduce the scope of capital punishment by abolishing the death penalty for six offences in the Criminal Code. While Amnesty International welcomes these moves, there remains concern that death sentences continue to be handed down by the courts. This concern is heightened by allegations that law enforcement officials have used physical and other means of duress in seeking to obtain confessions in cases where the offence carries a possible death sentence. This paper reviews the use of the death penalty in Georgia and ends with recommendations urging moves to abolish capital punishment totally and permanently. Appendices list offences carrying a possible death sentence and details of those men executed since 1994.