China's Nanjing Intermediate People's Court issued a life sentence on Saturday to Huang Sheng, the former provincial deputy governor of Shandong Province, for accepting almost $2 million in bribes from 21 organizations and numerous individuals between 1998 and 2011. In addition to life imprisonment, Sheng was also stripped of political rights for life [China National News report] and ordered to confiscate his personal assets. Sheng voluntarily confessed to taking bribes and returned his illegal gains to the appropriate authorities.
The Chinese government has worked in recent years to reform their judicial system and combat corruption. In March 2012 The President and Chief Justice of China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) [official website, in Chinese] told the National People's Congress (NPC) [official website] that the country must continue to implement legal reform [JURIST report] to combat corruption and foster social and economic growth. In May 2011 the SPC issued a directive [JURIST report] instituting new harsher penalties under the criminal law for violations of food safety crimes. In December 2010 a former Chinese corruption official was executed for accepting more than $4.7 million in bribes [JURIST report] in return for mining contracts and job promotions. In September 2010 a member of the NPC announced that the government did not consider removing the death penalty [JURIST report] as a punishment for corruption. That summer the Chinese government executed a top judicial official [JURIST report] after it was revealed he accepted bribes and had been protecting a number of organized crime gangs.