[JURIST] Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev [BBC profile] signed legislation Wednesday amending Kyrgyzstan's criminal codes and abolishing the death penalty [JURIST news archive]. According to the law, death penalty sentences will be replaced with life sentences. The legislation also mandates that arrest warrants be issued by courts and that prison sentences for some crimes be reduced.
The Kyrgyzstan constitution was amended [IPS report] in January to state that "no one in the Kyrgyz Republic can be deprived of life," which abolished the use of capital punishment in the central Asian country. Loopholes in the criminal codes nonetheless permitted judges to essentially ignore the new constitution [NB Central Asia report], and continue to hand down death sentences. Wednesday's legislation closes the loopholes in the criminal codes, ending the use of capital punishment by law. AP has more.