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July 31, 2009

China saying it will use death penalty less

This AP article, headlined "China says death penalty to be used more sparingly," reports on a planned cut back on capital punishment from the world's leader in executions.  Here are a few details:

The highest court in China, which executes more people than any other country, has called for the death penalty to be used less often and for only the most serious criminal cases, state media reported Wednesday.  The remarks indicate that the Supreme People's Court, which reviews all death sentences from lower courts before they are carried out, could overturn more of them.

Rights group Amnesty International reported earlier this year that China put at least 1,718 people to death in 2008. The penalty is used even for nonviolent crimes such as corruption or tax evasion.

The court will revise legislation to cut down the number of death sentences and will stress commuting sentences to life in prison for some criminals who show good behavior, a senior director in charge at the court told the Legal Daily newspaper.  "A policy of strictly controlling and being cautious to use the death penalty ... requires judicial departments to use as few death penalties as possible, meaning you don't kill those who you don't have to kill," the official was quoted as saying in an interview, a partial transcript of which was published on the Legal Daily Web site.

July 31, 2009 at 10:09 PM | Permalink


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The number to attrit the violent criminal is 10,000 a year, assuming zero deterrence effect. That is in the US. To have an effective DP in China, the correct number would be around 40,000 a year. If crime does not increase, no conclusion can be drawn about the death penalty in China.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 31, 2009 11:49:18 PM

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