[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Nov 29 13:34:59 CST 2004
China revises death penalty law
The death penalty can be applied for more than 60 crimes China's official
media has said the country is in the final stages of revising its law on
the death penalty.
The changes would make the Supreme Court the ultimate body of appeal in
One Western human rights worker involved with legal reform told the BBC
that such a move would be highly significant.
Prominent lawyers believe the number of executions carried out could be
reduced by up to 1/3, the worker said.
The number of people executed in China each year is regarded as a state
A figure that has recently gained currency among academics is 10,000, but
some believe even that is understated.
Now, though, a Beijing newspaper has reported that the Supreme Court is
close to finalising a law which would make itself the body of ultimate
appeal in capital cases.
The Supreme Court used to make the final decision on capital cases, but
after Beijing launched a huge anti-crime drive at the outset of economic
reform, that authority was delegated to high courts.
The move to reverse that may stem from pressure to live up to commitments
under a UN civil rights convention which China has signed but not yet
But there is also debate among lawyers over the widespread use of
execution for more than 60 different crimes, not just involving violence,
but also, for example, serious charges of embezzlement and corruption.
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