Rome, Italy – A parliamentary committee on Wednesday recommended abolishing the death sentence, saying Italy needs to take a “more holistic approach” to justice.
The decision was a major victory for President Sergio Mattarella, who has pushed for the abolition of capital punishment.
But it was far from unanimous, and some lawmakers said it was not enough to guarantee justice.
Italy has about 7,300 people on death row, which accounts for more than 10 percent of the country’s population.
It has seen a surge in the number of executions, with some states introducing new ones.
Last year, Italy abolished the death punishment in the first four years of a new president, but some lawmakers in Rome have said it is not enough.
“I do not want to see Italy’s death penalty used in the future in an attempt to bring down the economy,” said one of the five lawmakers present in the meeting.
“I want to take it to the next level.
We need to go beyond the death penalties to a more holistic approach.”
The decision is the first step toward abolition of the death law, which came into effect in January 2017 and is one of Italy’s strictest.
It was introduced in 1985 by the military dictatorship of Benito Mussolini, who was killed in a helicopter crash in 1954.
Mattarella has said that the abolition is necessary to save Italy’s economy, which has been battered by the global financial crisis.
The committee, headed by Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, decided on the abolition on Tuesday night, but did not recommend a date for the vote.
Italian courts have handed down more than 300 death sentences since the law came into force, including a handful for a string of high-profile murders in recent years.
The country also has a high number of prisoners serving life terms without parole.
Italy’s death rate has risen in recent decades, with the number for 2018 up almost 40 percent compared to the same period last year.
In 2017, there were 4,923 executions, a record number, while last year the total was 3,822.