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Condannati a morte cinesi subito prima dell'esecuzione
Two convicted of drug-trafficking light each other's cigarette
CHINA: NEW RULES ON CONFESSION TO LIMIT DEATH SENTENCES

May 30, 2010: Evidence obtained illegally - such as through torture during interrogation - cannot be used in testimony, particularly in cases involving the death penalty, according to two regulations issued today.
A death sentence should be pronounced only with sufficient evidence acquired through legal means, stipulate the two regulations: One on evidence review in death sentence cases, and the other on excluding illegal evidence in criminal cases.
Jointly issued by the top court, the top procuratorate, the ministries of public security, state security and justice, they are the first specific rules on collection of evidence and review in criminal cases.
The first regulation sets out principles and rules for scrutinizing and gauging evidence in cases involving the death penalty, and the other sets out detailed procedure for examining evidence and for excluding evidence obtained illegally.
They are expected to cut down on death sentences and reduce forced confessions, experts said.
The regulations make it clear that evidence with unclear origin, confessions obtained through torture, or testimony obtained through violence and intimidation are invalid, particularly in death sentences.
"Not a single mistake is allowed in fact finding and collection of evidence in cases involving the death sentence," said a written Q&A released by the five central departments.
The new regulations define illegal evidence and include specific procedures on how to exclude such evidence.
Lu Guanglun, a senior judge at the Supreme People's Court, said such details do not exist in the Criminal Procedure Law and its judicial interpretations.
"This is the first time that a systematic and clear regulation tells law enforcers that evidence obtained through illegal means is not only illegal but also useless," said Zhao Bingzhi, dean of the law school at Beijing Normal University.
"Previously we could only infer from abstract laws that illegal evidence is not allowed. But in reality, in many cases, such evidence was considered valid," he said.
"This is big progress, both for the legal system and for better protection of human rights," he said. "It will help reduce the number of executions".
Zhao said the new rules will also help change the mindset of law enforcers and reduce torture in interrogation, one of the causes of wrongful sentences.
Ever since the top court started reviewing all death sentences in 2007, the overall quality of handling criminal cases has improved, but a lot of problems still remain.
In 2008, the top court announced that about 15 percent of death sentence verdicts by lower courts in 2007 were found to have faults.
The case of Zhao Zuohai, who stayed behind bars for 11 years until the man he allegedly murdered turned up alive on April 30, has attracted national attention and triggered public criticism of judicial officers after Zhao said he was tortured by local police to confess.
Three former police officers have been arrested for allegedly torturing Zhao.
"Such cases seriously undermine the image of China's justice system and people's trust in the government," said Bian Jianlin, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law. (Source: China Daily, 31/05/2010)

IRAN: SIX PEOPLE HANGED
IRAN: TWO PEOPLE HANGED IN SHIRVAN
IRAN: SEVEN AFGHAN IMMIGRANTS EXECUTED
LIBYA: 18 PEOPLE EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD
IRAQ: DEATH PENALTY FOR STEALING OF ELECTRICITY
VIETNAM: DRUG SMUGGLERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
ALABAMA (USA): THOMAS WHISENHANT EXECUTED FOR 1976 KIDNAPPING, RAPE AND MURDER
KUWAIT: DEATH PENALTY FOR A WOMAN WHO KILLED 57 PEOPLE
CHINA: TIBETAN GETS SUSPENDED DEATH SENTENCE FOR RIOTS
IRAN. MAN HANGED FOR RAPE
MAURITANIA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR AL-QAEDA YOUTHS IN FRENCH KILLINGS
IRAN HANGS FOUR CONVICTED DRUG SMUGGLERS
IRAN: FILMMAKER JAFAR PANAHI RELEASED
YEMEN: STATE SECURITY COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE ON TWO SPIES
MAURITANIA: TERROR SUSPECTS FACE DEATH PENALTY
IRAN: ABDOLHAMID RIGI HANGED IN ZAHEDAN
IRAN: MAN EXECUTED IN AHWAZ FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
MISSISSIPPI EXECUTES 2ND INMATE IN AS MANY DAYS
KYRGYZSTAN: FINAL VERSION OF DRAFT CONSTITUTION PUBLISHED
IRAN: MAN HANGED FOR MURDER
INDIA: SENTENCE FOR RAPE-MURDER COMMUTED
IRAN: MAN EXECUTED IN PUBLIC FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
DRC: REBELS GET DEATH SENTENCES FOR MBANDAKA ATTACK
IRAQ: 62 AL QAEDA MEN GET DEATH SENTENCE
IRAN: TWO EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
GAZA: HAMAS 'EXECUTES THREE FOR MURDER'
IRAN: STUDENT’S DEATH SENTENCE FOR THROWING ROCKS REVERSED
IRAN CONFIRMS DEATH SENTENCE FOR OPPOSITION ACTIVISTS
BELARUS: 2 MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
CHINA: TOMB ROBBERS SENTENCED TO DEATH

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IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME
  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
  MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES  
  JAPAN HANGS CULT LEADER SHOKO ASAHARA, 6 OTHERS FOR 1995 TOKYO SUBWAY SARIN ATTACK  
  SOMALIA - DEATH PENALTY AND TERRORISM  
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