CHINA. HIGHEST COURT TO ORDER PROVINCES TO RETRY DEATH SENTENCES
February 27, 2007: China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) will send back cases involving death sentence to provincial courts for retrial if it finds errors in judgement, instead of directly changing the sentence, according to a regulation released by the SPC.
"The new regulation will guarantee that death sentences are handed out with caution by ordering retrials, which will also improve the efficiency of SPC death penalty reviews," a SPC spokesman told Xinhua.
Under the new regulation, the SPC will only change original death penalty sentences in cases involving individual criminals facing multiple death sentences, or multiple criminals facing death penalties.
Some details of the review process have been spelt out on SPCâs website. For instance, a bench of three judges will review each case. The judges will have to check the facts, the laws applied and criminal procedures adopted. Any testimony extracted through illegal means will be declared invalid.
If the case is very complicated or the facts in doubt then the judges can visit the spot of the crime to check details. (Sources: Xinhua, 28/02/2007; China Daily, 01/03/2007)