CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Pascoe & Smith on Suspended Execution

Daniel Pascoe and Tobias Smith (City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) - School of Law and San Francisco State University) have posted Suspended Execution Beyond China’s Borders (Asian Journal of Law and Society (2020 Forthcoming)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Although China remains the world’s most prolific death penalty jurisdiction, it has also reportedly reduced executions in the 21st century. China achieved this reduction in part through use of a nominal capital sentence called ‘suspended execution.’ The success of suspended execution as a diversionary tool has produced calls for its introduction elsewhere. However, there has been no empirical research on suspended execution outside China. This article fills this gap by identifying neighboring countries where suspended execution proposals have been considered, determining why these countries considered it, and examining how proposals were structured. We identify four Asian jurisdictions—Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia. We find that all of these countries looked to China for inspiration, each did so independently, and for reasons unrelated to China’s death penalty reforms. Our findings provide insights about capital punishment in Asia, the appeal of suspended execution and the role of China in regional penal practice.

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