The country is very prudent in its use of the death penalty to punish
economic criminals, the disciplinary watchdog of Communist Party of China (CPC)
"We are very prudent in using the death penalty to execute perpetrators of
economic crimes, and the number of death penalties handed down to economic
criminals is very small," Gan Yisheng, spokesman for the Central Commission for
Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the CPC Central Committee, said at a press
The death penalty is applicable in cases of serious economic crime.
Gan made the remarks in response to questions over the severity of the
punishment given to Zheng Xiaoyu, who was executed on July 10 after being found
guilty of engaging in corruption during his tenure as director of the State Food
and Drug Administration.
"Zheng Xiaoyu was given a death sentence not only because of the huge amounts
of bribes he took, but also because he committed serious crimes," said Gan.
Zheng, 63, was sentenced to death on May 29 by the Beijing Municipal No 1
Intermediate People's Court after being found guilty of taking 6.49 million yuan
($850,000) in bribes and dereliction of duty.
Gan said the practice of executing criminals who commit severe economic
crimes reflected the "status quo and cultural background" of China.
"Different countries have different circumstances and have different cultural
backgrounds and views on the death penalty. They also have different legal
regulations, which is very natural," said Gan.
The Supreme People's Court retrieved the right to review all death penalty
decisions made by lower courts from January 1, ending its 24-year absence in
approving execution verdicts.
Separately, 1,790 people voluntarily reported misconduct involving 77.9
million yuan during the one-month period since the CCDI issued a set of
regulations targeting corruption that took effect on May 30.
The regulations urged officials who had traded power for money to confess
their crimes before the end of June in return for leniency, Gan said.
(China Daily 08/03/2007 page3)