On Thursday the constitutional court considered the question of whether women had the right to a jury trial. The occasion was the complaint of the inhabitant of the Chelyabinsk region Alina limar. She was accused of murdering minor daughter and requested that her case would be considered by the jury. But she was denied: the process was held by the judge of the district court and sentenced to 8 years in a General regime colony.
Grounds for refusal the jurymen were changes made to article 31 of the Criminal procedure code in 2013. Then, from the jurisdiction of courts of the Federal level were excluded in all cases “in which the most severe penalties may not be imposed, life imprisonment or the death penalty”. Women life imprisonment in accordance with article 57 of the criminal code is not assigned. The same jury panel can be formed only in the court of Federal level — regional, regional or Supreme court of the Republic, as set out in article 30 of the CPC.
In court Lymar to attend could not, but in his complaint requested to acknowledge these changes as unconstitutional and in violation of equality before the law.
The Senator from the Federation Council Alexey Aleksandrov, who spoke first, acknowledged that problems in the criminal law really is, but the specific disputed norms of the CCP do not contradict the Constitution.
“Yes, the law does not look perfect, but we are talking about two guarantees”, — says Aleksandrov. He recalled that in addition to the guarantee of equality of all before the law women have and still guarantee that they will not prescribe life imprisonment, such as minors and men older than 65 years.
“The law provides for the restriction not by gender, and severity of punishment”, — has supported the colleague, the official representative of the President Michael Krotov. To completely eliminate inequality or women need to start to assign life imprisonment, or to abolish this form of punishment for both men pointed out the lawyer.
“The jury is particularly, but not only a judicial guarantee. Women has the right for consideration of their case by three professional judges and appellate review,” pointed out the moles.
The representative of the state Duma Dmitry Vyatkin at the meeting, personally, did not come, but sent a letter with the official position, where also requested to dismiss the complaint and argued that the lower chamber of the Parliament sees no violations.
The chance for an excuse
Of all the authorities supported their claim only the official representative of the government Mikhail Barshchevsky.
“In this case violated the basic principle of equality, he said, standing at the podium before the high court. — Why not start tomorrow to assign verdicts depending, for example, from nationality?” He recalled that worldwide, the jury is perceived as a court of justice. Statistically, jurors make more than 20% of acquittal verdicts, whereas the judge — less than 1%. “It turns out that women are less likely to be justified in times less than men,” was made by Barshevsky.
He noted that the amendments to the CPC is not only the jury but also on the level of the court, which will consider the case of: rayon or oblast. “Needless to say, in the courts of the Federal level of more experienced judges. So, women do not have rights and experienced judges? And by accumulation of sentences can a woman and 30 years to get? And it in the district court, and no trial by jury!” raged Barshchevsky pointed out that 30 years for some prisoners is likely to be life term.
He proposed to introduce a more differentiated approach and to allow district courts on motions of defendants to transfer cases to courts of a regional link.
After hearing representatives, high judges retired to a decision. This normally takes from one to two months.
To reduce and lower
The Supreme court on behalf of the President has developed a reform concept for a jury trial. In recent years, from the jurisdiction of juries was derived from a large number of compositions: so the jury can’t consider the case of a terrorist orientation, the crime of corruption, the case against sexual integrity.
In February 2015 the Vice President of the armed forces Vladimir Davydov has proposed to reduce the jury to 5-7 people, but implementing them in the courts of the district link. Such Board could review cases of domestic homicide, grievous bodily harm that caused the death and the robbery, pointed to Davydov.
An alternative proposal, according to Davydova, the idea was to return to the district courts of lay assessors, who would have started to consider cases along with judge.
In December 2015 a reduction in the number of the jury was supported by President Vladimir Putin. In his address to the Federal Assembly, he noted that the large the jury to form not easy and they are costly.