The death penalty in China today: Kill fewer, kill cautiously

By Susan Trevaskes / Asian Survey, on 1 January 2008

While the PRC death penalty debate has been an ongoing and highly contentious issue in the international human rights arena, death sentence policy and practice in China has remained relatively static since the early 1980s. Events in late 2006 and early 2007 have now dramatically changed the landscape of capital punishment in China. This paper analyses the recent debate on the death penalty in terms of the shifting power relationships in China today. The Supreme People’s Court wants to strictly limit the death penalty to only the ‘most heinous’ criminals while the politburo on the other hand, wants to maintain the two-decade old ‘strike hard’ policy which encourages severe punishment to be meted out to a wider range of serious criminals.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list China
  • Themes list Public debate,