CHINA: REVISED PROCURATORATE RULES TO IMPROVE DEATH SENTENCE REVIEW
November 24, 2012: China's newly-revised criminal rules for procuratorates updates the review of death sentences, a move to ensure strict control over and prudent application of the death penalty.
Issued by the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), the updated rules, which further specify conditions of its review of death penalty cases, were publicized on the SPP's associated website www.jcrb.com yesterday.
In China, starting from 2007, only the Supreme People's Court (SPC) has the right to approve the death penalty.
During the review of a death sentence, the SPP may advise the SPC of its opinions.
According to the new rules, if a court ruling of a death sentence is found to be wrong and should not be approved in accordance with the law during a review by the SPP, it shall let the SPC know.
If new details or evidence are found that may cause a change in penalty, or serious violations of legal procedures in the case handling are found and may have distorted the judgement, the SPP should offer the SPC its opinions.
If bribery or graft is found to have involved judicial workers who handled the case, the SPP should also point it out to the SPC.
The modified rules said the SPP may review death penalty cases by checking documents forwarded by the SPC and provincial-level procurators' organs and written appeals from defendants, their family or lawyers.
The SPP may also ask provincial-level procurators' organs to submit documents concerning the cases, as well as review case files, inquire defendants and check major evidence, when necessary. (Sources: Xinhua, 24/11/2012)