China

China carries out far more executions than all of the rest of the world combined, and is notable as the only country in the world that regularly executes thousands of people every year.[94] On 25 February 2011 China’s newly revised Criminal Law reduced the number of crimes punishable by death by 13,from 68 to 55.[95] Among these are embezzlement; rape of children; fraud; bombing; people trafficking; piracy; rape; corruption; arson; murder; poaching; endangerment of national security; terrorism[96] (see Capital punishment in the People’s Republic of China)
Hong Kong and Macau, have separate legal systems and have abolished the death penalty. In Hong Kong it was abolished in 1993 by the then British colonial government, and last used in 1966 (see Capital punishment in Hong Kong). In Macau it was last used in 19th century and abolished in 1976 when Portugal abolished the death penalty on all its territories (see Capital punishment in Macau).

China Exempts 9 Crimes from Death Penalty

China’s top legislature on Saturday adopted amendments to the Criminal Law, removing the death penalty for nine crimes, and ruling out commutation for most corrupt figures.
The 9 crimes punishable by death include smuggling weapons, ammunition, nuclear materials or counterfeit currency; counterfeiting currency; raising funds by means of fraud; arranging for or forcing another person to engage in prostitution; obstructing a police officer or a person on duty from performing his duties; and fabricating rumors to mislead others during wartime.
After removing the death penalty for these crimes, those convicted will face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The amendments were voted in by lawmakers at the end of a six-day bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.
The move to limit the use of the death penalty comes in the wake of judicial reform pushed forward by the Communist Party of China in recent years to gradually reduce the number of crimes subject to the penalty.
It is the second time China has reduced the number of crimes punishable by death since the Criminal Law took effect in 1979.
In 2011, the NPC Standing Committee dropped the death penalty for 13 economic-related non-violent crimes including smuggling cultural relics, gold and silver; carrying out fraud related to financial bills; forging or selling forged exclusive value-added tax invoices; teaching criminal methods; and robbing ancient cultural ruins.
Under the amended Criminal Law, which will take effect on Nov. 1, the number of crimes punishable by death is 46.
According to the amendments, criminals convicted on serious corruption charges who have received a 2-year suspended death sentence will face life imprisonment after the 2 years.
This aims to “safeguard judicial fairness” and prevent “the most corrupt criminals from serving shorter prison terms through commutation,” according to the top legislature.
It targets officials who illegally seek commutation, parole or non-prison sentences.
The amendments also impose tougher sentences for assaults on police officers on duty and clarify the crime of contempt of court, so as to safeguard judicial authority.
Nine lawyers were recently taken under coercive measures, after they used Beijing Fengrui law firm as a platform to provoke trouble and disturb social order.
According to the current law, lawyers can be disbarred if they are convicted of disrupting or interfering with due proceedings or inciting others to raise trouble.
The new law adds crimes regarding cyber security, enhancing protection of citizens’ personal information and ascertaining responsibilities for Internet service providers failing to fulfill duties of network security management.
The revised law says that those counterfeiting passports, social security cards and driving licenses will also face punishment.
Organizing cheating in exams and bringing civil litigations based on fabricated facts to pursue illegitimate interests, are also listed as crimes that are punishable by imprisonment up to 7 years.
In its stipulations against terrorism, the revised law adds several items to crack down more heavily on terrorism.
Those promoting terrorism and extremism by producing and distributing related materials, releasing information, instructing in person or through audio, video or information networks will face more than 5 years in prison in serious cases. Those who instigate violent terror activities will also face the same punishment.
Harsher punishment will also be imposed on those involved in cults. In serious cases, the maximum punishment may be extended to life imprisonment, the new law says. Previously, the maximum sentence for those found guilty of cult-related crimes was 15 years in prison.
Source: CRIEnglish, August 30, 2015

 

China to Boost Penalties for Sex With Girls Under 14

Chinese state media say China is planning harsher penalties for men who have sex with girls under 14, following public outrage over high-profile offenders including teachers.
Under the new law, all such cases would be considered rape because another criminal charge that served as a loophole for some offenders would be eliminated.
The state-run China News Service said Monday the crime of “prostitution with underage girls” would be removed from China’s penal code under the revision being considered by lawmakers.
If the bill is approved, any sex with girls under 14 would be considered rape and subject to harsher penalties, including death.
The current penalty for prostitution with underage girls is 5 to 15 years in jail.
Members of the public and legal scholars have long called for the change.
Source: Associated Press, August 25, 2015

 

China: Lawmakers Considering Harsher Punishment for Human Trafficker

Friday, July 3, 2015

China’s top lawmakers are considering tougher punishments for all parties involved in human trafficking, including those who buy abducted children.
The 9th draft amendment to the Criminal Law was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress earlier this week.
It comes amid continuing discussions on China’s social media outlets about whether or not child traffickers should be sentenced to death.
The amendment advocates “light punishment” for buyers who don’t harm abducted children or hinder police rescue of the victimized children.
At present, such buyers would likely be exempt from punishment.
He Youlin, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, says this indeed gives a free reign to the act of children trafficking.
“Those who buy children can get lesser punishment or even an exemption only because they don’t ill-treat the abducted children or appear cooperative in rescue operations. But will it embolden those possible buyers? We should take it seriously.”
Child trafficking has been rampant for a long time in rural China, especially in poverty-stricken southwestern regions. Some pregnant women have been found to have sold their own children.
The traditional preference of boys over girls, especially in the countryside, has also been blamed for boosting the trade.
Some rural residents who don’t have a boy would like to buy one, which many law experts say fuels demand.
Jiang Zhuangde is also taking part in the discussion of the amendment. He backs harsher punishments for child buyers.
“The effort to crack down on child buyers is obviously not enough. The current penalties are too light to deter the offenders. The huge demand is another major reason why child trafficking becomes rampant. Those who buy children should face criminal penalties or harsher punishment at least.”
According to the Supreme People’s Court, nearly 13,000 people involved in trafficking were punished between 2010 and 2014 with over 1/2 receiving sentences ranging from at least 5 years in prison to the death penalty.
Under the current law, child traffickers can be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison. If more than 3 victims are involved or if there are casualties, the punishments can rise to life in prison or death.
A recent poll on Sina.com showed over 92 % of the more than 21,000 respondents recommended that the same punishment imposed on child traffickers should also be applied to buyers.
Source: CRI.English, July 2, 201

Intellectually-disabled Australian could face death penalty in China

Friday, July 3, 2015

Guangzhou: An intellectually-disabled Australian man detained in China for more than a year could face the death penalty after being charged with smuggling more than two kilograms of the drug crystal methamphetamine.
Lawyers acting for 26-year-old Ibrahim Jalloh say he was tricked into becoming an unwitting drug mule by members of an international syndicate who preyed on his naivety.
The man named in the Chinese court as the main instigator became friends with Mr Jalloh through casual soccer games and eventually convinced him to travel to Guangzhou to bring back “important documents” in return for $15,000 last June.
Mr Jalloh, who was born in war-torn Sierra Leone before moving with his family to Australia when he was 17, was arrested at Guangzhou’s international airport attempting to board a flight back to Brisbane via Singapore. He said he had not checked the contents of the suitcase he was given in Guangzhou because it was locked and he wasn’t given a key.
“[name withheld] just told me it was some important documents,” Mr Jalloh said. “He never told me it was drugs inside. If it was drugs, I cannot [sic] leave Australia to do this.”
The man is facing separate charges in Australia on conspiracy to import drugs from China. He is alleged to have sent another Australian drug mule jailed in Guangzhou, Queensland man Bengali Sherrif.
Mr Sherrif was arrested in similar circumstances to Mr Jalloh just days apart, and is awaiting the outcome of an appeal of his suspended death sentence.
Mr Jalloh receives a full disability pension in Australia and his lawyers produced two independent medical opinions from Australian doctors attesting to the fact that his intellectual disability hampered his judgement and made him easy to manipulate.Mr Jalloh is one of several Australians on serious drug charges in Guangzhou who say they have been set up by international drug syndicates operating out of the southern metropolis – a major regional drug hub which has become Australia’s largest source of methamphetamine in recent years.

 

Three drug smugglers executed in NE China

June 25, 2015

SHENYANG, June 24 (Xinhua) — Three people were executed Wednesday in the largest drug case to be heard in Liaoning Province, northeast China, a local court said.
Ma Min, Yao Hongguo and Li Na were found guilty of smuggling 2,000 methamphetamine pills and 36 kilograms of the drug, the Liaoning provincial higher people’s court said in a press release.
Starting in May 2008, the three were involved in transporting drugs from the southern city of Shenzhen to sell in the city of Yingkou, Liaoning.
They were arrested while collecting drugs from Yingkou Railway Station in May 2010.
As three men were identified as the leaders of the drug gang they were given the death penalty, the court said.
Police have stepped up investigations into on drug-related crimes over the past years.
In Beijing, several renowned celebrities have been detained for taking drugs since last year.
Since the beginning of 2014, 2,365 drug traffickers in the Chinese capital have been punished, including 446 that were handed prison terms of more than five years.
More than 90 percent of drugs seized by China in 2014 came from the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia, according to a report on drugs released Wednesday.
Source: Xinhua, June 24, 2015

 

China’s top legislature considers trimming death penalty crimes

March 9, 2014

BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) — The National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, is considering reducing the number of crimes subject to the death penalty, an NPC official said on Sunday.

Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing parliamentary session, Zang Tiewei, of the NPC Standing Committee’s Commission for Legislative Affairs, said an amendment to the Criminal Law has been included in the annual legislative agenda.

The legislature will study the possibility of reducing the number of types of crimes to which the death penalty is applicable, based on the needs of China’s economic and social development and criminal deterrence, he said.

The last time China reduced the number of crimes punishable by death was in 2011. At that time, the country’s legislature adopted an amendment to the Criminal Law, reducing the types of crimes punishable by death by 20 percent, or 13 in number. It was also the first reduction since the Criminal Law took effect in 1979.

A key reform blueprint of the Communist Party of China published in November said China will reduce the number of crimes subject to the death penalty “step by step.”

Currently, all death penalties have to undergo review by the Supreme People’s Court.

(Source: Xinhua)

CHINA -Justice Minister urged to carry out executions of 45 death-row inmates

february 26, 2014

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Kuomintang lawmaker Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) yesterday urged Justice Minister Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) to immediately carry out executions of 45 death-row inmates “who are not seeking judicial remedies.” Luo responded, saying that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) will go through the “necessary procedures” carefully and with caution.

During an interpellation at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, Wu said Taiwan has 52 convicts on death row, noting that apart from seven inmates who are currently undergoing the appeals process, one of the remaining 45 death-row prisoners has awaited execution for over 10 years.

Wu questioned, if 45 death-row prisoners are not seeking judicial relief, why does the government stall the executions? He went on to say that he is a religious person, adding that he also “holds incense sticks and prays” and it is a hard request to make to Luo, but the government has to act in accordance with the law.

Luo Agrees to Give Order

In response, Luo said she would initiate the required procedures and give the appropriate orders, noting that the MOJ still has to handle the matter in an extremely careful manner.

She said that since taking office she has been reviewing all death-row inmates’ current legal statuses one by one to see if anyone is in the appeals process or even if there are constitutional issues involved. “It’s not like we don’t carry out the death penalty, but we have to be certain about every execution,” Luo added.

Wu said former Justice Minister Wang Ching-feng (王清峰) refused to carry out executions and resigned from her position as a result, noting that Wang’s successor Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) gave orders to execute 21 convicts during his term.

Wu said if Luo refuses to give the orders, then she should step down like Wang did, or else he will go to the Control Yuan and request Luo’s impeachment after the interpellation.

“I cannot stand hearing rumors about gangsters, saying that even if these people do something bad, they will not be sentenced to death,” Wu said, urging the government to ignore the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty’s (廢除死刑推動聯盟) demand and act in accordance with the law.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said the Executive Yuan stands alongside the MOJ regarding the issue, noting that as the country still has the death penalty, if the MOJ is certain that a death-row inmate sought every possible judicial remedy and was still sentenced to death, the ministry should carry out the executions when it is time.

As for what day or who should be executed first, the Executive Yuan will not interfere with the MOJ’s jurisdiction to make such decisions, Jiang added.