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Russian V-Day Amnesty to Cover Nearly 400,000 People

An amnesty in honor of May 9th and the victory celebrations promises a second chance for thousdands locked up for petty or non-violent crimes. Amnesty will be applied to 350,000 - 400,000 people serving jail terms or suspended sentences.

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Last week Russian lawmakers voted to grant amnesty for some Between 350,000 and 400,000 criminals in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the allied Victory over Nazi Germany, which Russia celebrates on May 9. 442 State Duma deputies approved the draft bill on the amnesty, which offers freedom to non-violent or petty criminals over the next six months.

According to the news from Interfax, the amnesty will not be applied to anyone convicted of premeditated murder, terrorism, racketeering or other serious crimes. Also, those convicted of crimses such as large-scale fraud, misappropriation or embezzlement on a large scale and bribery, will be excluded from consideration for the amnesty. Criminals such as Alexei Navalny, for instance, will not be eligable since the oppostiion leader's crimes of large scale embezelment are outside the amnesty parameters. Recently jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadya Savchenko, held by Russia on suspicion of being party to the murder of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine, is also ineligible for amnesty.

The amnesty will also apply to minors, women with young or disabled children, pregnant women, single fathers, men over the age of 50, and women over the age of 55 who were convicted for mild or moderate crimes. Certain serioulsy ill patients will also included in the amnesty, although anyone found guilty of committing crimes against minors will be considered ineligible. 

The International Centre for Prison Studies reveals that Russia has on only about two thirds the incarcaration rate the United States has. In the US, some  2.217 million people are currently in jail, while in Russia there are only 673,000.  Russia's rate of internment will obviously fall when the bill goes into full effect. 

The bill was proposed last December by he head of the Presidential Сouncil for Civil Society and Human Rights, Mikhail Fedotov to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia's rate of internment will obviously fall when the bill goes into full effect. 


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