China to review death penalty policy

Man behind barsoriginally published by: RTT News
23rd July 2010

Chinese authorities are in the process of reviewing the country’s policies on death penalty, with the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress expected to debate next month a draft amendment to the criminal law on executions, Chinese media reports indicated on Thursday.

As per the reports, the eighth amendment to China’s Criminal Law proposes changes to the country’s death penalty policy, marking the first move by Chinese authorities to lighten death penalty charges.

The amendment reportedly calls for limiting the number of crimes that attract the death penalty and recommends exempting senior citizens from capital punishment in future.

The development comes almost a year after Zhang Jun, Vice-President of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), indicated that China plans to reduce the number of people it executes each year by imposing more suspended death sentences and limiting capital punishment to those who have committed extremely serious crimes that lead to grave social consequences.

“As it is impossible for the country to abolish capital punishment under current realities and social security conditions, it is an important effort to strictly control the application of the penalty by judicial organs,” Zhang said in the interview published by the state-run Legal Daily in July 2009.

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