China, which is infamous for its stance toward human rights, is considering abolishing the death penalty for some crimes.
At the moment, there are 55 offenses that are punishable by death but recent calls for policy reforms will remove at least nine from the list.
These crimes would include: fraud, obstructing a commander or person on duty, spreading rumors during wartime, weapons smuggling, counterfeiting, the forcing of someone into prostitution and the smuggling of ammunition, nuclear materials, and counterfeit currency.
Recommended: China Has An Army You Don’t Know About
This week, the National People’s Congress will take into account the draft of the amendment submitted by the Standing Committee. Instead of executions, criminals will face with prison time.
Over the years, Chinese policy makers have shown a willingness to change matters pertaining to the death penalty, albeit gradually. In 2007 it was decided that all capital punishment cases were to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. In 2011, China dropped the death penalty for 13 non-violent offenses. So it’s good news that lawmakers are rethinking certain policies.
Though China takes a global lead in the number of executions that take place annually, there are only speculated statistics that will remain a mystery shrouded in state secrecy.
However, Dui Hua, a U.S.-based organization, states that in 2013, 2,400 executions took place in China – which is a major decrease from just a decade prior. In 2002, around 12,000 executions took place.
Perhaps if the government adopts the changes proposed by the amendment, the annual executions will drop further.