China removes 13 economic crimes from capital punishment list

New Delhi, Aug.24 (ANI): The National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee in China has reportedly dropped the death penalty for 13 economy-related non-violent crimes.

"The amendment focuses on limiting the death penalty by removing some of the death penalty crimes and restructuring China's criminal system," the China Daily quoted Li Shishi, director of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, as saying at a bimonthly legislative session in Beijing.

The revision would cut the current 68 crimes punishable by death under the Criminal Law by about one-fifth to 55.

If passed, it will be the first time the number of crimes subject to the death penalty has been reduced since the People's Republic of China enacted its Criminal Law in 1979.

It will also be a major move by China to limit the use of the death penalty, after the Supreme People's Court (SPC) began to review all death penalty decisions in 2007.

The draft amendment also states that the death penalty is not to be applied to people above 75 at the time the crime is committed.

A draft law or amendment usually receives three reviews at the top legislature before being adopted.

More than 90 countries have abolished the death penalty and more than 40 countries that still have the death penalty on their books have not used it for more than a decade.

At least 1,252 people were reportedly executed in 24 countries in 2007, 88 percent of which took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United States, the Guardian reported. (ANI)

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