Supreme Court urges China to use death penalty sparingly

China’s highest court again stressed the limited use of the death penalty, telling lower courts to use “justice tempered with mercy”.

China executes more people than any other country, but the Supreme People’s Court has been more outspoken recently about the need to tone it down.

Last July, the court called for the death penalty to be used less often and for only the most serious criminal cases and according a report today in the state-run Xinhua News Agency, the new guidelines echo that call.

The highest court reviews all death sentences from lower courts before they are carried out, and its comments have indicated more of those death sentences could be overturned.


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