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China reviews its death penalty laws

world Updated: Aug 24, 2010 00:11 IST
HT Correspondents

China, where more people are executed than in the rest of the world, may eliminate the death penalty for 13 economic crimes.

China controversially awards the death penalty for 68 crimes, out of which 44 do not involve violence. State media said on Monday that the Chinese legislature is reviewing a first of its kind draft amendment to the criminal law to remove the death penalty for 13 'non-violent economic offences' out of the 68 crimes punishable by death.

The draft also moves to provide leniency to offenders below 18 and above 75 years.

If the legislature approves the draft — the first major amendment to China’s criminal law since 1997 — crimes no longer punishable by death will include smuggling cultural relics and rare animals out of China,

forging invoices, fraud related to bills and letters of credit, ‘teaching crime-committing methods’ and robbing cultural ruins.

China does not release its annual number of death penalty cases despite pressure from global rights groups. However, there have been moves within the judiciary to review the process.