Chinese Law makers vote for abolition of Death Penalty for 9 more Crimes
In 2011, they abolished it for 13 crimes. Now for 9 more crimes. Still 46 crimes are punishable with death. Will it reduce further?
National People's Congress, the top law making body of Republic of China today adopted amendments to the Criminal Law, abolishing death penalty for nine more crimes. Ninth amendment of criminal law was passed after a six-day bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee. After this amendment crimes for which death penalty is a possible punishment stands reduced to 46. The amendment will come in force from November 1, 2015.
Now, according to the reports by Chinese media, death penalty cannot be awarded for the following crimes, anymore
- Smuggling weapons
- Smuggling ammunition
- Smuggling nuclear materials
- Smuggling counterfeit currency
- Counterfeiting currency
- Raising funds by means of fraud
- Arranging for or forcing another person to engage in prostitution
- Obstructing a police officer or a person on duty from performing his duties;
- Fabricating rumours to mislead others during wartime.
It is the second time China has reduced the number of crimes punishable by death since the Criminal Law took effect in 1979. In 2011, China had ended death penalty for 13 economic crimes such as smuggling cultural relics, gold and silver; carrying out fraud related to financial bills; forging or selling forged exclusive value-added tax invoices; teaching criminal methods; and robbing ancient cultural ruins.. Even after the present amendment, there are still more than 45 varieties of crimes are punishable with death penalty in China. The Article 48 of China’s Criminal Law says “The death penalty is only to be applied to criminal elements who commit the most heinous crimes. In the case of a criminal element who should be sentenced to death, if immediate execution is not essential, a two-year suspension of execution may be announced at the same time the sentence of death is imposed”. Death penalty cannot imposed on minors and pregnant women. However, it is a possible punishment for sexual crimes in China.
In China, It is said that it executes more people a year than rest of the world combined. Last to be executed was reportedly a Chinese billionaire mining tycoon Liu Han is executed over his links to a 'mafia-style' gang.