Death Penalty Cases Rife With Evidence Flaws

The deputy chief of China’s highest court has criticised inconsistent adherence to evidence standards in the country’s death penalty cases, whose annual number is a state secret. From the South China Morning Post:

Supreme People’s Court Vice-President Zhang Jun, speaking at a conference organised by the China Law Society, said the court had found the quality of capital punishment cases to be worse than expected since authorities ordered all such cases to be reviewed in 2007, according to report by Caixin online [zh].

The biggest problem was with evidence, Zhang said. Law enforcement authorities lacked awareness about the importance of collecting evidence and rules regarding evidence were not applied uniformly.

“For example, [evidence in] murder cases must be subjected to DNA tests,” Zhang said. “But this is not always carried out.”

Investigators also tended to rely too much on verbal testimony as opposed to physical evidence, he said.

See more on the death penalty in China via CDT, including the execution of 15 people in one day in Changsha late last month.

January 12, 2012 12:13 AM
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Categories: Human Rights, Law, Society