CHINA METES OUT LEAST NUMBER OF DEATH SENTENCES IN '06
March 15, 2007: The number of death sentences meted out last year by Chinese courts hit a record low in more than a decade, said Liu Jiachen, a political advisor and former vice president of the Supreme People's Court.
China has seen a gradual decrease of capital crime cases since 1997 and less use of severe punishments including life-long imprisonment, said Liu, who wasÂ in BeijingÂ attending the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
"We can not rely our hope on death penalties to curb crimes. We may tackle the increasing criminal cases via many other ways," Liu said.
"The concept also accords with the world's trend to gradually lighten penalties, which means stringent punishment can be imposed for only a small number of serious offenders," he said.
However, the former senior judge did not reveal the exact number of death sentences last year. (Sources: Xinhua, 15/03/2007)