COMMENTARY ON LAWYERING, LANGUAGE, AND POLITICS
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Death Penalty Review Reform expected from China's Supreme Court | Supreme People's Court Monitor
video interview in a death penalty appeal in China
Six years ago I participated in a death penalty conference sponsored by the College of Criminal Justice, Beijing Normal University. We were preaching the 6th Amendment and Gideon v. Wainwright: the right to counsel and to have counsel appointed for you if you could not afford a lawyer. BNU Criminal Justice Dean Zhao Bingzhi has long advocated such reforms. It appears he is about to prevail. - gwc What does the 4th Plenum mean for death penalty reviews? | Supreme People's Court Monitor by Susan Finder
In a press report in Southern Weekend last month, the Supreme People’s Court (the Court) revealed that an important legal reform related to death penalty reviews is forthcoming–institutionalizing legal representation in death penalty reviews. It appears that this development has not yet been reported in the foreign press. This development, and others still in the works, are likely linked to the following provisions in the 4th Plenum Decision:
For appeals from dissatisfaction with effective judgments or decisions of judicial organs, gradually implement a system of lawyer representation. Bring appellants unable to hire a lawyer within the scope of legal aid.
Advance systemic reform in litigation with trial at the center;
complete effective guards against unjust, false and wrongfully decided cases.
The Southern Weekend report was partially reported in the foreign press, thanks to a summary by the Duihua Foundation, but that report missed this important development. (A full translation of this article would be helpful to non-Chinese readers interested in this issue).