Like most people in the U.S., Chinese people, when asked, say they favor the death penalty. It is commonly used there - though no one knows how often. When Chinese friends and acquaintances are told the huge numbers that western rights groups estimate are executed their reaction is denial. This past year's 2,400 estimated by Dui Hua is a big drop from previous years. But the actual number is a state secret so there is no way to settle the argument. - gwc
Muted applause for scrapping death penalty | Shanghai Daily
"BEIJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese fraudster who had her death sentence commuted to life imprisonment in July may be the last person in China to face death row for the crime.
Wu Ying, 33, was sentenced to death in 2009 for cheating investors out of 380 million yuan (61.1 million U.S. dollars) in private lending scams. Her sentence caused a public outcry and was eventually commuted to life imprisonment.
Chinese lawmakers are considering ending the death penalty for nine crimes, including smuggling of certain items, counterfeiting, forcing others into prostitution, obstruction of law enforcers and raising funds by means of fraud, the crime of which Wu was convicted.
Liu Mingxiang, vice dean of the law school at Renmin University, considers the revision a big step forward. "No violence was involved in Wu Ying's case, despite its bad social effect," he said.
"There is a global trend against executions," Liu said. "Compared with other countries, China has many crimes for which the death penalty could be used, but some are not really applicable now."
Since reform and opening-up, economic development has rendered certain crimes less serious, he said.
The draft amendment to the Criminal Law was submitted earlier this week to the standing committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) for a first reading during the legislature's bi-monthly session, but not everyone is happy with the changes."
'via Blog this'