Addendum to the Draft Preamble to The Criminal Code of the RSFSR and a Letter to Dmitry Kursky

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 15 May 1922

Published: First published in part in 1937 in the journal Bolshevik No. 2. Published in full in 1964 in the Fifth Russian Edition of the Collected Works, Vol. 45. Printed from the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, page 419.
Collection(s): Bolshevik

These documents were written by Lenin in connection with the drafting of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR by the People’s Commissariat for Justice and its discussion at the Third Session of the Ninth Convocation of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee, which took place from May 12 to 26, 1922. The addenda and the first letter were written by Lenin to the draft “Preamble to the Criminal Code of the RSFSR” sent him by D. I. Kursky, People’s Commissar for Justice. After a talk with Kursky on this question, Lenin wrote his second letter with the rough draft of an additional Article to the Criminal Code. Lenin’s proposals were taken into consideration during the later drafting of the section of the Criminal Code dealing with “Counter-Revolutionary Crimes”.

The Criminal Code of the RSFSR was endorsed by the Third Session of the All-Russia CEC and put in force on June 1, 1922 (see Collection of Statutes and Decrees of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government (Russ. ed.), Moscow, 1922, No. 15, June 1, Article 153, pp. 202–39).


Preamble to the Criminal Code of the RSFSR

x... 5. Pending the establishment of conditions guaranteeing Soviet power against counter-revolutionary encroachments upon it, the revolutionary tribunals shall be given the right to apply capital punishment for crimes under Articles 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63+64 of the Criminal Code).
X)Add also Articles 64 and 65 and 66 and 67 and 68 and 69.
X X)Add the right, by decision of the Presidium of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee, to commute the death sentence to deportation (for a term or for life).
X X X)Add: death penalty for illicit return from abroad.

Comrade Kursky,

I think the application of the death sentence should be extended (commutable to deportation). See 1st line down—to all forms of activity by the Mensheviks, S.R.s and so on;

to be formulated so as to identify these acts with those of the international bourgeoisie and their struggle against us (bribing the press and agents, working for war and so on).

Please return urgently with your comments.