China strictly controls, prudently applies death penalty: white paper


15:17, April 17, 2013

China retains the death penalty, but strictly controls and prudently applies it, a white paper said Tuesday.

Entitled "Judicial Reform in China," the white paper was released by the Information Office of the State Council, or China's Cabinet.

China's Criminal Law stipulates that death penalty shall only be applied to criminals who have committed extremely serious crimes, and has very strict stipulations on its application, the white paper said.

Amendment Eight to the Criminal Law promulgated in 2011 eliminated the death penalty for 13 economy-related non-violent offences, accounting for 19.1 percent of the total death penalty charges, it noted.

The amendment also stipulates that death penalty shall generally not be used for people who are already 75 years old at the time of trial.

"The death penalty bears directly on the citizen's right to life, so it must be applied in a very prudent manner," the white paper said, noting that starting 2007, only the Supreme People's Court, the country's top court, has the right to approve death penalty.

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