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Another eye-catching move in the draft amendment is the reduction of the number of crimes subject to the death penalty. If the amendment becomes law, it will be the first time there has been a reduction in crimes that can be punishable by death since China enacted its Criminal law in 1979.
This will be a major move by China to limit the use of the death penalty.
The 13 crimes will no longer fall under the category of capital punishment. Included in the 13 are the smuggling out of the country of prohibited cultural relics, rare animals and their products and precious metals; carrying out fraudulent activities with financial bills; and carrying out fraudulent activities with letters of credit.
They also include falsely issuing exclusive value-added tax invoices to defraud export tax refunds or to offset taxes; forging or selling forged exclusive value-added tax invoices; teaching crime-committing methods; and robbing ancient cultural ruins.
While limiting the use of the death penalty, the draft amendment provides stricter rules for a reprieve from the death penalty.
China made various efforts to limit the death penalty in recent years. January 1st, 2007, the Supreme People's Court began reviewing before approving all death penalty cases to make sure decisions by lower courts were accurate.
- China to reduce death penalty 2010-08-24