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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

For the First Time, the Number of People Given Life Sentences Outnumbers People Immediately Executed in China

From chinadaily.com: For the first time in New China's history, the number of criminals given death sentences with a two-year reprieve - which usually translate into life imprisonment - have this year outnumbered those sentenced to immediate execution, the country's top judge said on Friday.

This reflects the new trend since the Supreme People's Court (SPC) took back the right to review death sentences from local courts on January 1, Chief Justice Xiao Yang said.

"The number of death sentences has been gradually decreasing and human rights are being better protected," Xiao told a national work conference on court reform, without elaborating.

Capital punishment should be given "only to an extremely small number of serious offenders", he said.

"The judicial reform process has been progressing smoothly, with leniency shown in a growing number of criminal trials," he said.

In Jiangxi Province, the number of death sentences with immediate execution issued up to October was just half what it was in the same period last year, Kang Weimin, president of the provincial high people's court, said. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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