Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Amnesty urges China to end secrecy of capital punishment data

China has made impressive progress in public transparency.  All court judgments are available to all online (though the ruling CPC's deliberations are not).  But on big set of data remains a state secret: death penalty data.

Without that data it is not possible to debate intelligently whether or not the infliction of the penalty is administered fairly.

Press accounts yield little that is reliable.  Reported death sentences mean little without hard data: most death sentences include a two year probationary period at the end of which the sentence may be (and usually is) commuted to a life sentence, typically fifteen years. - gwc
Amnesty urges China to come clean on capital punishment

China, the world’s biggest executioner, must come clean about its “grotesque” level of capital punishment, the rights group Amnesty International has said in its 2016 global review of the death penalty.
China keeps its official tally of those executed as a state secret but last year it put to death more people than all other countries in the world combined, Amnesty’s investigation showed.
Excluding China, states around the world executed 1,032 people in 2016, down 37 per cent from the previous year.
The world’s top five executioners were China, IranSaudi ArabiaIraq and Pakistan.
The fall in executions worldwide was largely driven by a reduction in Iran, where they were down 42 per cent last year from at least 977 to at least 567, and Pakistan, down 73 per cent from 326 to 87.

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