China's new rules on confession ban evidence under coercion

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New Delhi, May 31 (ANI): According to the latest stipulations introduced in China, evidence obtained through coercion and torture during interrogation, will no longer be admissible in the testimony especially in cases involving death penalty.

Experts believe that the move will help in reducing the high number of executions.

The issue had become embossed in public consciousness after the release of Zhao Zuohai, a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for 10 years for murdering a man who later turned out to be alive.

The new regulations lay down procedures to be followed in collection of evidence, and its scrutiny including what is permissible and what is not.

Jointly issued by the top court, the top procuratorate, the ministries of public security, state security and justice, they are the first specific rules on collection of evidence and review in criminal cases.

"Not a single mistake is allowed in fact finding and collection of evidence in cases involving the death sentence," said a written Q and A released by the five central departments on Sunday, China Daily reports.

The new regulations define illegal evidence and include specific procedures on how to exclude such evidence.

"This is the first time that a systematic and clear regulation tells law enforcers that evidence obtained through illegal means is not only illegal but also useless," said Zhao Bingzhi, dean of the law school at Beijing Normal University.

"This is big progress, both for the legal system and for better protection of human rights," he said. "It will help reduce the number of executions".

Zhao said the new rules will also help change the mindset of law enforcers and reduce torture in interrogation, one of the causes of wrongful sentences. (ANI)

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