Full Text: Judicial Reform in China (16)

(Xinhua)

15:04, April 17, 2013

Excluding illegally obtained evidence. The Criminal Procedure Law amended in 2012 makes it clear that confessions by a suspect or a defendant obtained through extortion or other illegal means and witness's testimony and victim's statements obtained through the use of violence, threats or other illegal means should be excluded from evidence. If physical or documentary evidence is collected in ways violating legal procedures and severely affecting judicial justice, such evidence should be excluded if no correction or justification is provided. It also stipulates the specific procedure for exclusion of such evidence. Once evidence that should be excluded is found by public security organs, people's procuratorates or people's courts during the course of investigation, prosecution review or trial, such evidence should be excluded in accordance with the law.

Improving the system of detention, taking a person into custody after arrest, and interrogation. A person who has been detained must be sent to a house of detention within 24 hours. When a person is arrested, he/she must be taken into custody immediately in a house of detention, where the interrogation shall be conducted. With advances in the IT-based law enforcement by judicial organs, interrogation, detention, court trials and activities happening in places of custody are recorded and video taped. The practice of recording and videotaping investigation and questioning processes is widely adopted. The law explicitly states that for crimes punishable by life imprisonment or death and other serious crimes, audio or video recording of the interrogation process is mandatory. The audio or video recording should cover the entire process of the questioning and should be complete.

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