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9.16.2007

Use of death penalty limited in China

Supreme People's Court Circular on further strenghtening adjudication work in criminal cases关于进一步加强刑事审判工作的决定
Issued: 11 September 2007, by the Supreme People's Court

The application of the death penalty has been limited to the most serious cases (坚持死刑只适用于罪行极其严重的犯罪分子). The decision does not mention abolition of the death penalty. Rather, it stresses that China's criminal law will retain the death penalty.

The death penalty will however not be used in:

1. - criminal cases arising from civil controversies
2. - all the cases when it is possible to issue a sentence to the death penalty with a two-years reprieve.

The full text of the decision does not seem to be available yet. Its summary can be read here.