Capital punishment in Estonia

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The last execution in Estonia took place on 11 September 1991 when Rein Oruste, convicted of murder, was shot in the back of the head. The death penalty was completely abolished in Estonia on 18 March 1998 when Protocol No. 6 to the ECHR was signed.

From 1 February 1920 to Estonia's incorporation into the Soviet Union in 1940, inmates condemned by civilian courts were given a choice to die either by poison-induced suicide or by hanging, as outlined in the Criminal Procedure Code which took effect on 1 February 1935: "One hour before the scheduled time of the execution, the condemned shall be taken to a death cell, where the state prosecutor will read the death sentence and ask the prisoner whether he is willing to commit suicide. If the answer is in the affirmative, the prosecutor will hand the condemned a glass of poison—the kind of poison to be determined by the National Health Board. If the doomed man fails to take the poison within five minutes he will be hanged.'"[1] Military executions were carried out by a firing squad of eight men.


  1. ^ "ESTONIA: Authorized Suicides". Time. 5 November 1934.

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