CHINA: COURTS URGED TO BE PRUDENT IN USE OF DEATH PENALTY
May 24, 2011: Chinese courts were told to pronounce a two-year suspension of execution for condemned criminals if an immediate execution is not deemed necessary.
The Supreme People's Court (SPC) said, in an annual report of the work of people's courts, that death penalty should only be applied to "a very small number" of criminals who have committed "extremely serious crimes."
Under the policy of "justice tempered with mercy," capital punishment reprieves should be granted as long as they are allowed by law, the supreme court said.
The people's courts have shown respect, in the use of death penalty, for the right to life, which is the most basic human rights, the report said.
"The report shows that China is more and more discreet on death penalty," Wang Sixin, a law professor at the Communication University of China, told the Global Times on May 24. The country's top court is expected to introduce a unified guideline over the use of the capital punishment in China soon. (Sources: Xinhua, Global Times, 24/05/2011)