China mulls revising Criminal Law to limit capital punishment

July 24th, 2010 - 3:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, July 24 (ANI): China is mulling revising its Criminal Law to limit the number of crimes subject to the death penalty, as part of major efforts to further reduce the use of capital punishment.

“In line with international practice, having so many crimes that could receive a maximum punishment of death is unnecessary, it may not be helpful in preventing crimes,” Chu Huaizhi, a professor on criminal law with Peking University, said.

According to China Daily, a number of law practitioners and professors from different universities in this field, including Huaizhi, attended a meeting organized by the legislative affairs committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) this month to solicit suggestions on the revision from legal experts.

Gao Mingxuan, a famous criminal law professor with Renmin University said that it is better to first reduce the use of death penalty for non-violent crimes, as it will take a long time for the country to abolish capital punishment.

The paper quoted Liu Renwen, a researcher at the institute of law under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as saying that the revision is the legalization of a policy on criminal law implementation to restrict the use of death sentences.

“Abolition of capital punishment or limiting its application in non-violent crimes is an irresistible trend,” said Liu.

In China, the majority of executions are for murder, robbery, intentional injury and drug trafficking. In some cases, corruption is also judged under the same punishment.

Meanwhile, Tong Zhiwei, a professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University specializing in constitutional studies, agreed that capital punishment should be abolished for non-violent crimes and for elderly convict,s but suggested longer prison terms for severe crimes.

Presently, the longest term in China is 20 years. (ANI)

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