China to reduce capital punishment after law review

Beijing, Aug 23 (ANI): China, which executes more people each year than any other country, is considering reducing the number of death sentences in the country by reviewing the latest amendment to the law, which reportedly suggests that 13 "economy-related, non-violent offences" be dropped from the death penalty list.

According to the China Daily, among the 13 death charges, most are seldom applied in recent years, including the crime of smuggling relics, crime of falsely making out specialized value-added-tax receipts.

The revision, if passed, would reportedly cut the existing 68 death charges in criminal law by one fifth to 55. It would be the first major modification of the law since its previous major revision in 1997.

"The reduction of capital punishment is an inevitable trend and a reflection of the country's social development based on the protection of human rights," Wang Zhenmin, a professor on Criminal Law with Tsinghua University, said.

The amendment also suggests tightening the practice of probation and abatement, in a bid to optimize the structure of criminal punishment.

The country's longest jail term is proposed to be expanded from the current 20 years to 25 years, and probation is more strictly controlled than before, especially to repeat offenders, arch and violent criminals. Besides, community-based corrections are proposed to replace the former surveillance punishment. (ANI)

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