Committee: Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Topic: Criminal Justice Reform for Capital Crimes
Delegation: Russian Federation
Highland Park High School
By Alex Vanarthos
Capital crimes can be defined as any crimes that can potentially result in the death
penalty or a life sentence in prison. When dealing with ways to efficiently pursue
criminal justice, one crucial question that always seems to be presented is whether or not
capital punishment is morally justified or effective. Most governments have instituted a
form of the death penalty at some point; however there has been a great amount of
support in motion for outlawing the death penalty in the past ten years. In fact, 138 states
in total have discontinued the use of the death penalty, where as a mere 58 states continue
to use it. Despite this, recent efforts to put a worldwide ban on the death penalty have
failed due to the opposition of many of the remaining abolitionist governments (Carrol,
Stewart). In terms of Russia’s stance on the issue, there are no major plans or desire to
put an end to the death penalty. Many people, such as my delegate and me, are opposed
to doing so being that capital crimes are a fairly serious issue in the great country of
As all of my fellow delegates know, murder is often a good example of what
would be considered a capital crime. In a recently taken poll, it was discovered that
Russia ranked 5th in homicide rates among all countries in the world. An average of
approximately 20.1 murders take place per every 100,000 inhabitants each year (“List of
Countries by Murder Rate”). Although Russia is no longer a victim of many terrorist
threats and attacks, the Russian Federation had many difficulties with terrorists about half
a decade ago. With attacks such as the metro bombing in Moscow, Russia and its
government began to worry that it would have to deal with threats and attacks for years to
come. Luckily, Russia worked through the crisis by focusing a great amount of man
power and energy towards combating terrorism, and we are proud to now consider
ourselves essentially free of terrorism.
Article 20 of the Russian Constitution, while clearly communicating that all
people share the right to life, states that the death penalty should be instituted as
punishment for any extremely severe cases of murder (Tschentscher, Axel). In December
of 2007, Russian delegates voted against a movement to discontinue the use of capital
punishment at a United Nations assembly (Hood, Roger). Being that domestic crime is an
extremely significant problem in the Russian Federation, we simply cannot afford to
make our punishments for notably serious crimes to be any less severe. Although Russia
clearly attempts to do all in its power to combat capital crimes, my fellow delegate and I
are willing to admit that there may be ways to combat crime that are not currently in
One effective way to combat crime is to combat unemployment. When someone
is forced to turn to crime in order to make any money, punishments simply cannot scare
them enough to prevent them from doing so. If the government is to prioritize by
spending more time, money, and effort on creating more jobs, it will lead to less poverty,
and in turn, less crime. Another way to combat crime is to maximize efforts from police
officials. This entails not only generating more policemen, but also distinguishing and
discontinuing all major corruption in the police force. Since Russia’s Soviet era, a great
amount has changed in the government. However, the police force has not undergone a
great amount of change at all. I personally believe that this change is dire to the
prevention of crime in Russia. We must do so because with corruption, not only are less
crimes being controlled and prevented, but corruption and crime often go hand in hand.
Although capital crime is a significant issue in the Russian Federation, it is
entirely possible to deal with, and I hope to make great strides toward doing so.
"List of countries by murder rate." StateMaster-Encyclopedia: List of Countries by
Murder Rate. Nationmaster.com, Web. 6 Oct 2009.
Carrol, Stewart. "Topic Brief." IDIA| Institute for Domestic and International Affairs,
Inc.. Institute for Domestic and International Affairs, Inc., Web. 6 Oct 2009.
Hood, Roger. "Russia and its Death Penalty." Russia and its Death Penalty| Open
Democracy News Analysis. 01 Dec 2008. Web. 6 Oct 2009.
Tschentscher, Axel. "Russia - Constitution." ICL-Russia - Constitution. 12 Dec 1993.
International Constitutional Law, Web. 6 Oct 2009.