The Death Penalty in China: Policy, Practice, and Reform

9780231170062: The Death Penalty in China: Policy, Practice, and Reform

No institution in the legal system of contemporary China has attracted more controversy and misunderstanding than the death penalty. Moreover, remarkable changes have significantly altered the way the death penalty is perceived and applied in the world's most populous state. The Death Penalty in China is required reading for anyone desiring to keep abreast of China's evolving legal landscape, criminal justice reform, and perplexing human rights environment. Highly recommended. -- Andrew Scobell, coauthor of China's Search for Security This excellent collection of essays should be greatly welcomed, providing as it does insights into the way that Chinese scholars, both within and outside China, as well as foreign scholars who have studied the Chinese system in depth, explain the changes underway and assess their significance. The Death Penalty in China needs to be read by everyone concerned with the project of eliminating capital punishment throughout the world. -- from the foreword by Roger Hood, emeritus professor of criminology, University of Oxford This outstanding book describes proficiently what is known and knowable about the death penalty in transition in China today. The cooperation between excellent Chinese scholars and world-renowned scholars from abroad secures relevance and accuracy. Debates and practices are captured in light of Chinese death penalty history, the special character of the Chinese state, as well as in comparison to other Chinas of the present. -- Lill Scherdin, project leader, Universities Against the Death Penalty A timely assessment of China's death penalty reform in context, this volume is a must read for academics and activists. Choice

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Featuring experts from Europe, Australia, Japan, China, and the United States, this collection of essays follows changes in the theory and policy of China's death penalty from the Mao era (1949-1979) through the Deng era (1980-1997) up to the present day. Using empirical data, such as capital offender and offense profiles, temporal and regional variations in capital punishment, and the impact of social media on public opinion and reform, contributors relay both the character of China's death penalty practices and the incremental changes that indicate reform. They then compare the Chinese experience to other countries throughout Asia and the world, showing how change can be implemented even within a non-democratic and rigid political system, but also the dangers of promoting policies that society may not be ready to embrace.

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