China exercises prudent application of death penalty

Updated: 2011-07-14 13:50


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BEIJING -- China further strengthened its control and prudent application of death penalty to guarantee rights of the person, says a report released on Thursday by China's State Council Information Office (SCIO).

Titled Assessment Report on the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010), the report says in February 2011 the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) discussed and adopted Amendment VIII to China's Criminal Law.

The amendment abolished death penalty for 13 types of economic and non-violent crimes, such as negotiable instruments fraud, according to the report.

The reduction accounted for nearly one fifth of the total number of death penalty crimes, it says.

The report says the amended Criminal Law also laid down restrictive stipulations on the application of death penalty to people 75 years old and above.

In June 2010, the related departments jointly issued Regulations on Some Issues Concerning the Examination and Judgment of Evidence in Death Penalty Cases, which adopts more strict standards in the examination and judgment of evidence for death penalty cases, the report says.

Besides, the people's courts stick to the principle of public trial for all death penalty cases of second instance to guarantee the defendants' right of appeal, the report says.

The Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate and other organs have issued the Opinions on Strengthening and Regulating the Execution of Sentences Outside Prison.

The system of public announcement and hearing before ruling on penalty reduction and parole is set out clearly in the Opinions, increasing transparency in the trial of such cases, according to the report.

In 2009 and 2010, people's courts at all levels reduced the penalties for over 1 million people, and released 68,000 others on parole in accordance with the law, it says.

In April 2009, the SCIO published the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010). It is China's first national plan on the theme of human rights.

The 56-page report made an overall assessment of the implementation of the Action Plan. It also specified China's efforts on implementing the plan to safeguarding people's economic, social and cultural rights, people's civil and political rights, as well as promoting the cause of human rights in other spheres.