BEIJING - China's top legislature has never considered scrapping the death penalty for those convicted of corruption in the draft amendment to the Criminal Law, said a legislator.
Chen Sixi, member of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee and vice-chairman of the NPC's Committee for Internal and Judicial Affairs, made the remarks on Tuesday during an on-line interview with netizens.
Corruption-related crimes have seriously impaired the interests of the country and the people and China is always paying special attention to the prevention and punishment to such crimes, Chen said.
Criminals convicted of corruption should be subject to harsh penalties and the draft amendment to the Criminal Law was not intended to eliminate capital punishment for such crimes, Chen said.
The eighth amendment to the Criminal Law, which proposed reducing the number of crimes punishable by the death penalty in a move to reduce death penalty executions and promote human rights, was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for its first reading at its bimonthly meeting which began on August 23.
The draft amendment eliminated capital punishment for 13 economic-related and non-violent offences such as, among others, smuggling cultural relics, falsely issuing exclusive value-added tax invoices to defraud export tax refunds or offset taxes, and teaching methods for committing crimes, which constituted almost 20 percent of the current 68 crimes punishable by the death penalty.
However, the draft amendment also sparked criticisms that abolishing the death penalty for economic-related and non-violent offences would be taken as a tool to help privileged officials involved in corruption crimes escape capital punishment.