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August 23, 2010

Talk in China of economic crimes no longer being punishable by death

According to this new AP article, "China, which executes more people each year than any other country, said Monday it is considering dropping capital punishment for economic crimes." Here's more:

A draft amendment to the country's criminal code proposes cutting 13 "economy-related, non-violent offenses" from the list of 68 crimes punishable by the death penalty, the official Xinhua New Agency said.

It is not known when the draft will become law.  Xinhua said it was submitted for a first reading to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. A draft usually has two or three readings before it is voted on.

Joshua Rosenzweig, research manager for the U.S.-based human rights group Dui Hua Foundation, said the draft was welcome but was unlikely to reduce the number of executions in China if it becomes law because it targets crimes that seldom, if ever, have the death penalty applied to them.

August 23, 2010 at 08:07 AM | Permalink


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Just imagine the problems that could have been avoided in the last decade if the US had DP for economic crimes. (Kennedy v Louisiana did not get decided until 2008.)

Posted by: . | Aug 23, 2010 8:29:56 AM

"imagine the problems that could have been avoided in the last decade if the US had DP for economic crimes"

Wow...what a low you have hit. A crime that results in a significant monetary and material loss warranting a penalty that results in a loss of life?!? Life should always be valued at more than the material items we possess. I just hope our society has not slipped as far as "." in thinking otherwise.

Posted by: $$$ | Aug 23, 2010 1:14:39 PM

Did Madoff commit A crime or many crimes?

Note I am not endorsing the DP for economic crimes in a vacuum. I merely endorse it when it exists for non-economic crimes such as murder or treason or (previously) child rape.

Posted by: . | Aug 23, 2010 1:49:29 PM

This would be an improvement. Things aren't always completely black and white.

Posted by: Frederico | Aug 23, 2010 4:52:57 PM

I suspect that in China, the message that economic crimes aren't appropriate to punish with the death penalty may be as important as the details of the law itself.

A symbolic message from the top party organs, like a dicta from the U.S. Supreme Court, can have weight beyond its formal legal effect.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Aug 23, 2010 8:05:24 PM

Every penny of economic value has come from the labor of a person. Even findinga diamond while walking on a beach required time and effort (labor). Say, we agree that a life is worth $6 million for regulatory calculation purposes.

So a crime that destroyed $6 million has assassinated a constructive, economic person. The latter is the sole value of human beings to society. If an economic crime has destroyed amounts in excess of $6 million, the death penalty is as warranted as in first degree murder. The same analysis that goes into a homicide to determine the death penalty may go into the destruction of an economic person, with the same aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 24, 2010 5:16:40 AM

Sophistry Claus.

Posted by: John K | Aug 24, 2010 5:44:28 PM

The bad names are taken as givens. John, you too, assume yourself to be a lawyer dumbass, until proven otherwise. This is not an epithet. It is a lawyer term of art. It refers to an intelligent, modern student after undergoing law school indoctrination, coming out believing in absurd idiocies. Minds can be read. The future of rare accidents can be foreseen. Twelve strangers can use their gut feelings to detect the truth, after excluding any with any knowledge. A fictitious character, with the personality of Mickey Mouse, should set our standards of conduct. Why a fictional character? To make the standards objective. Of course.

Not even special ed, Life Skills Class students, struggling to memorize the steps of a personal hygiene protocol, are as stupid as the lawyer after his law school indoctrination. Putting such a special ed student on the Supreme Court would result in an immediate upgrade in the logic of the decisions, and clarity of the opinion writing.

Try a fact to rebut. It will hurt at first, but you will grow to like it.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 24, 2010 10:06:30 PM

Didn't mean to be rude, SC. It's just that by my reckoning you're a little too eager to see the state put human beings (even if terribly flawed) to death.

Posted by: John K | Aug 24, 2010 11:37:20 PM

John: What about the victims? They are put to death 17,000 at a time, each year. If you count the damages done by crime and convert them to human lives, the death toll is in the 100's of 1000's each year. You are over eager to preserve the lawyer client, why? Because of the lawyer jobs generated.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 25, 2010 8:38:35 PM

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