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LAWMAKERS REJECT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

Polish lawmakers narrowly voted Friday against reintroducing the death penalty following a series of killings that outraged the nation, including the case of a young woman who was tortured and killed on a train, then dumped out the window.

President Aleksander Kwasniewski had threatened to veto the proposal if lawmakers chose to bring back capital punishment seven years after the country abolished it to meet European Union human rights standards.

Parliament's lower house voted 198-194 with 14 abstentions to reject the proposal by the opposition Law and Justice party.

The vote means that "concern for criminals prevailed over compassion for the innocent victims," said party member Zbigniew Ziobro, one of the authors of the proposal.

The Justice Ministry welcomed the decision. If the death penalty had been reintroduced, Poland would come into conflict with other members of the European Union, spokeswoman Barbara Makosa-Stepkowska said.

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