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China's top court vows to continue correction of wrongful convictions

(Xinhua)

Updated: 2015-01-22

BEIJING - China's top judge has vowed to continue correction of wrongful convictions following multiple judicial scandals including Huugjilt's case.

"Deep lessons should be drawn from major wrongful convictions such as Huugjilt, and their grave harm should be fully recognized, " said Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC), at a national meeting of chief justices of higher courts on Wednesday.

A higher court in Inner Mongolia ruled in December 2014 that teenager Huugjilt, who was found guilty of rape and murder in 1996, was innocent and had been wrongfully executed.

The top court will make efforts to improve its systems to prevent, reinvestigate and correct wrongful convictions more effectively in 2015.

Reinvestigation and retrial can be conducted by judicial organs from different jurisdictions if necessary, according to the SPC.

The top court also plans to introduce measures to help the wrongly convicted in seeking state compensation.

As part of China's initiative to adopt a more prudent attitude toward using death penalties, the SPC reiterated the criteria for issuing capital punishment should be strictly observed so as to ensure "the penalty is only used on an extremely few convicts whose crimes are extremely serious."

As to the anti-graft fight, the SPC said while meting out severe punishment to those who took bribes, it will also give harsher punishment to those who offer bribes.

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