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Death penalty for corruption to remain for now
By Guan Xiaomeng (Chinadaily.com)
Updated: 2005-09-02 17:25

Officials with the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislative body have denied discussions are under way to abolish the use of capital punishment for those involved in serious economic crimes.

Punishments for such non-violent offenses have long been in the legal limelight in China with many speculating legislators would move to abolish the most serious punishment under the law - the death penalty - in the most egregious cases.

The speculation, countered in statements by Premier Wen Jiabao, remains inconsistent with the current domestic criminal legislative and jurisdictional practices. It also does not reflect the current fundamental realities in the country, officials said, echoing Wen.

A spokesman for the Supreme People's Court explained that though the death penalty will for the long term be preserved, application of the punishment is under tighter scrutiny than ever to reduce the number of death sentences. Courts are acting cautiously when conducting trials on those possibly facing the penalty.

According to Chinese Criminal Law, the death penalty applies only to those criminals committing extremely serious crimes while those who are not subject to immediate execution may be sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve.

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