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Chinese chief justice alludes to death penalty reform

[JURIST] In a Supreme Court report to the National People's Congress, China's Chief Justice Xiao Yang [Xinhuanet profile] said the Supreme People's Court would "further perfect second-instance judgments for criminal cases and death penalty review procedures." The government has suggested that the Supreme Court establish a special tribunal to review death penalty decisions. Currently, the lower courts administer death penalty sentences, which critics claim are inconsistently applied. Officials say these reforms could reduce death penalty convictions by 30 percent. There are 68 crimes punishable by execution in China [JURIST Countries archive], many of them non-violent. It is estimated that China executes between 5,000 and 12,000 people per year, more than any other country. The People's Daily Online has more.

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