Chinese lawmakers opposing abolition of death penalty for 13 economic crimes

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Beijing, Aug 28 (ANI): Some members of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee have opposed plans to abolish the death penalty for 13 economic crimes and have begun reviewing the eighth draft amendment to the Criminal Law.

"Economic crimes are on the rise in China at the moment. So, it might not be a good time to abolish capital punishment for such crimes, especially those that have a negative social effect," the China Daily quoted Cong Bin, an NPC Standing Committee member and a professor at the Hebei Medical University, as saying.

According to the draft, two crimes that do not deserve the death penalty are falsely issuing exclusive value-added tax invoices to defraud export tax refunds, and carrying out fraudulent activities using financial certificates, bills and letter of credits.

"Harsh punishment needs to be meted out to ease public indignation for financial crimes, which usually involve large amounts of money and carry a negative social effect," Cong Bin added.

He believes that since China is going through a period of transition, with an increasing number of social conflicts, the death penalty is required to deter criminals.

However, some other legislators believe that limiting the application of capital punishment "does not necessarily require an abolishment" of the death penalty.

"Our focus should be on improving financial supervision and curbing economic crimes. Ineffective supervision on the death penalty has contributed to the high execution rate in China," said Shi Taifeng, another lawmaker.

The China Daily quoted Liu Wenren, a criminal law expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences as saying, "Blindly worshipping capital punishment results in a high execution rate."

If the Criminal law is revised and enacted, it will reportedly cut current 68 crimes punishable to death under the Criminal Law by about one-fifth to 55. It will be the first time the number of crimes carrying the maximum penalty would be reduced since the People's Republic of China enacted its Criminal Law in 1979. (ANI)

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