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November 01, 1987

The Soviet Union is preparing to abolish capital punishment for economic crimes and for offenses by women and elderly people, a Soviet official said. Alexander Y. Sukharev, justice minister of the Russian Federation, the largest Soviet republic, told a news conference that the move is intended as a first step toward total abolition of capital punishment. Addressing the same news conference, Internal Affairs Minister Alexander V. Vlasov said the number of inmates in prisons and labor camps will fall by 18% because of a recently proclaimed amnesty and various legal reforms. But he declined to to reveal the exact number of people in prison and labor camps.

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