Donations to the Community of Sant'Egidio are tax deductible
under current regulations

Also this year it can target the 5x1000 to the Community of Sant'Egidio
Write the number 80191770587 in the tax return

Andrea Riccardi: on the web

Andrea Riccardi: on social networks

Andrea Riccardi: press review

change language
you are in: no death penalty - news contacting usnewsletterlink

Support The Community

July 28 2010 | CHINA


China to cut crimes that carry death penalty. And executions of convicted criminals over 70 years old may end

printable version


China aims to cut back the number of crimes that carry the death penalty, and may also end executions of convicted criminals over 70 years old, the official China Daily reported.

A draft revision of the country's Criminal Law, which would limit use of capital punishment, will be submitted to the standing committee of China's rubber-stamp parliament in late August, the paper reported at the weekend, citing a source from the legislature.

The change would be the 1st reduction in the number of crimes carrying the death penalty since the law was enacted in 1979, the Southern Weekend paper said in an earlier report on the potential change.

Rights groups regularly criticise China for its high execution rate, secrecy about its use of the punishment, and range of crimes which carry the death penalty.

Amnesty International said in a report issued in March that it estimates China executed thousands of people last year, more than the rest of the world combined.

Capital punishment currently applies to 68 offences, of which 44 are not violent, the China Daily said.

Technically it can be handed down for corruption cases where defendants have taken a bribe of 100,000 yuan ($14,750) or more, the paper said, although in practice it is used only in cases involving much larger sums.

But the lack of applicable guidelines means there is unfair variation in sentencing, the paper quoted a constitutional studies expert at Shanghai's Jiaotong University as saying.

"Someone could be sentenced to death for an amount that is far less than in a case where the suspect is sentenced to life in prison," Tong Zhiwei said.


In January 2007, the Supreme People's Court regained the power of final approval of death penalties, devolved to provincial high courts in the 1980s, and it promised to apply the ultimate punishment more carefully.

In February the court urged China's judges to limit the use of death penalty to those convicted of the most serious crimes, under a policy of "justice tempered with mercy".

The rules also call for courts to offer reprieves where allowed by law. When Chinese courts mete out death sentences with a reprieve, they are usually commuted later to life in jail.

These account for around 10 % of all death sentences handed down, the China Daily said.

But execution for white collar crimes is unlikely to end.

"It is not practical to abolish execution for all 44, as corruption is widely seen in China and brings severe social impact", said Liu Renwen, a researcher at the institute of law under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"A limit should be set," he told the paper.

The high rate of executions was thrown into the international spotlight at the end of last year when a British citizen caught smuggling heroin was put to death, despite pleas for clemency from Britain and his family, who said he was mentally unsound.



China to reduce death sentence offence-list

Chinese legislators are considering reducing the list of offences that carry capital punishment under the country's law, media reports said Saturday.

A draft revision of criminal law will be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in August, China Daily reported quoting a source with the NPC, the country's top legislature.

The revision aims to cut the number of crimes applicable for the death sentence from 68. It will also seek to forbid execution for elderly convicts aged 70 or above, the daily said citing a media report.

"In line with international practice, having so many crimes that could receive a maximum punishment of death is unnecessary," Chu Huaizhi, a professor on criminal law with Peking University, told Southern Weekly. "It may not be helpful in preventing crimes."

He also attended a meeting organised by the legislative affairs committee of the NPC this month to solicit suggestions on the revision.

Gao Mingxuan, who teaches criminal law at Renmin University of China, said it is better to first reduce the use of death penalty for non-violent crimes, as it will take a long time for the country to abolish capital punishment.

"Abolition of capital punishment or limiting its application in non-violent crimes is an irresistible trend," said Liu.

In China, majority of executions are for murder, robbery, intentional injury and drug trafficking, although corruption also carries the punishment.

Of the 68 crimes listed, 44 do not involve violence, yet "it is not practical to abolish execution for all 44, as corruption is widely seen in China and brings severe social impact," Liu said, however, "a limit should be set."

As per the existing criminal law that was last revised in 1997, those convicted of taking bribes of 100,000 yuan ($14,000) or more can be sentenced to death. The longest jail term in China is 20 years.


Agence France-Presse

China to reduce number of capital crimes: state media

China will reduce the number of crimes subject to the death penalty from the current 68 in the latest step to cut back on the use of capital punishment, state media said Saturday.

The nation's top legislative committee will begin revising China's criminal law in August to reduce the number of capital crimes, the China Daily reported, quoting a legislative source.

The report did not say how many crimes would be subject to capital punishment after the revision or which offences would be removed from the current list.

China is widely believed to carry out more executions that the rest of the world combined, but the actual figure remains a state secret.

Amnesty International, in a report earlier this year, said the number was "believed to be in the thousands," compared to 2009's 2nd-ranked executioner Iran, which the rights group said carried out at least 388 last year.

Most executions in China are carried out for violent crimes such as murder, robbery, but also for drug trafficking, the China Daily said. However, corruption cases also carry the death penalty.

But of the 68 capital crimes in China, 44 do not involve violent acts, it said.

The report said the law revision also could forbid the death penalty against convicts aged 70 years or more. It gave no other details on the planned revision.

China has taken measures in recent years to rein in use of capital punishment, including requiring the country's supreme court to review all such sentences before they are carried out.

October 15 2016

Human rights activist asks Pope to discuss the death penalty with Lukashenka

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus", has sent a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to touch upon the issue of capital punishment during his meeting with President Lukashenka.
October 10 2016
October 10,14th World Day Against the Death Penalty

On the 14th world day against the death penalty a conference entitled "No Justice Without Life" will be held in Japan

July 2 2016
Address and the Final Ceremony by Mario Marazziti. Nobel Peace Prize Room, City Hall. June 23rd 2016

CITIES FOR LIFE – CITIES AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Oslo

by Mario Marazziti
June 25 2016

Pope Francis: “Death penalty is unacceptable”

Pope Francis addresses the authorities, the associations, the activists and the civil society gathered in Oslo on the occasion of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty through a video message.
June 21 2016
The 6th Congress Against the Death Penalty opens today in Oslo

The Community of Sant'Egidio takes part in the congress with delegations from Italy, Congo, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Indonesia

1500 attendants coming from over 80 countries. Among them, 20 ministers, 200 diplomats, members of different parliaments, scholars, lawyers, members of various associations and civil society actors
May 25 2016
"The laws are not perfect and judges cannot make mistakes. When you think that laws are perfect, this is the beginning of injustice", said Mgr. Suharyo

Church and civil society against new executions

Jakarta is among the 15 cities in Indonesia where in the past years the event "Cities for Life, Cities against the Death Penalty" was held, organized by Sant'Egidio in over two thousand municipalities in the five continents
all related news

June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
May 23 2016

Malaysian death row convict loses final appeal in Singapore
May 23 2016

Vescovo filippino: È presto per giudicare il contraddittorio Duterte. No alla pena di morte
May 14 2016

Pfizer blocca i farmaci per la pena di morte negli Usa
May 14 2016
La Stampa

Pena di morte, Pfizer blocca l’uso dei suoi farmaci per le iniezioni letali negli Usa
all press-related

Motion Grafic "cities for life" 2012 -
Motion Grafic cities for life FR -
Promo Engl 2013 citiesforlife -

63 visits

226 visits

45 visits

48 visits

52 visits
all the related media