In China, by 2020, there are 42 criminal offences eligible for the death penalty.
Criminals who commit one of these crimes, and the circumstances are particularly serious, may be sentenced to the death penalty.
In accordance with the PRC criminal law, the death penalty is only applicable to criminals who have committed extremely serious crimes.
For criminals who shall be sentenced to the death penalty, if the immediate execution is not necessary, a two-year suspension of execution may be pronounced simultaneously with the sentence of the death penalty.
If a local court proposes to sentence the criminal to the death penalty, it must report to the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) for another examination and approval.
Furthermore, the death penalty shall not be applied to persons who have not reached the age of eighteen at the time when the crime was committed or to women who are pregnant during the trial.
The criminal offences eligible for the death penalty and references are as follows:
1. Betrayal of the Country (Article 102)
2. Armed rebellion, and rioting (Article 104)
3. Collaborating with the enemy and betrayal (Article 108)
4. Spying or espionage (Article 110)
5. Stealing, spying, buying, and illegally providing state secrets and intelligence abroad (Article 111)
6. Providing material support to the enemy (Article 112)
7. Arson (Article 115)
8. Flooding (Article 115)
9. Explosion (Article 115)
10. Spreading hazardous substances (Article 115)
11. Endangering public safety in dangerous ways (Article 115)
12. Destruction of vehicles (Article 119)
13. Destruction of transportation facilities (Article 119)
14. Destruction of electrical equipment (Article 119)
15. Destruction of flammable and explosive equipment (Article 119)
16. Hijacking aircraft (Article 121)
17. Illegal manufacturing, trading, transporting, mailing, storing guns, ammunition, and explosives (Article 125)
18. Theft, snatching of guns, ammunition, explosives, and dangerous substances (Article 127)
19. Robbery of guns, ammunition, explosives, and dangerous substances (Article 127)
20. Production and sale of counterfeited drugs (Article 141)
21. Intentional homicide (Article 232)
22. Intentional injury (Article 234)
23. Rape (Article 236)
24. Kidnapping (Article 239)
25. Trafficking in women and children (Article 240
26. Robbery (Article 263)
27. Riot prison escape (Article 317)
28. Gathering Crowds to raid a prison with weapons (Article 317)
29. Smuggling, selling, transporting, manufacturing drugs (Article 347)
30. Destruction of weapons and equipment, military installations, and military communications (Article 369)
31. Deliberately providing unqualified weapons and equipment, military facilities (Article 370)
32. Bribery (Article 382, 383)
33. Defying orders in wartime (Article 421)
34. Concealing and lying about military affairs (Article 422)
35. Refusal and false transmission of military orders (Article 422)
36. Surrender (Article 423)
37. Escape in wartime (Article 424)
38. Soldier defection (Article 430)
39. Stealing, spying, buying, and illegally providing military secrets abroad (Article 431)
40. Theft and snatching of weapons, equipment, and military materials (Article 438)
41. Illegal sale and transfer of weapons and equipment (Article 439)
42. Mutilating and plundering residents during wartime (Article 446)
For more about China's Criminal Law, please click here.
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Criminal Law (2017).
Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team