MOSCOW — The justice minister today announced proposals to abolish the use of internal exile as punishment, reduce the number of death penalty offenses and shorten the maximum prison term.
Justice Minister Boris V. Kravtsov disclosed the proposed changes during a Tass press agency interview.
Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's campaign for perestroika, or restructuring of Soviet society, has called on the government to appropriately revise the 30-year-old criminal code, Kravtsov said.
"Over this time, there have been vast changes in the country's life, and they must be reflected legislatively," he said.
"It is suggested reducing the scope of crimes to be punished by death, abolish exile and banishment provisions, and slash maximum prison terms to 10 years from the current 15."
Soviets convicted of major non-capital crimes now face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, possibly followed by terms in internal exile.