Senior Chinese judge urges courts to use strict evidence standards in death penalty cases

08:00, June 09, 2010      

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A Chinese Supreme People's Court (SPC) official said Tuesday courts must apply the most strict standards when verifying facts and evidence in cases involving the death penalty.

SPC Vice President Zhang Jun said at a national teleconference judicial personnel must present facts and solid evidence and left nothing to chance before making a verdict.

Judicial personnel should not trust unreliable evidence and they must embrace fairness and justice during trials, said Zhang.

In January 2007, the SPC reserved the right to review all death penalty decisions made by lower courts after provincial high courts drew fire amid reports of miscarriages of justice.

With the SPC having the sole power to review and ratify death sentences, the country is applying fewer death sentences. An average of 15 percent of sentences were overturned in 2007 and 10 percent were overturned in 2008, according to the China Daily.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:梁军)

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