Crime and Punishment: China Decides Death Penalty May Not Be Suitable for Tax-Receipt Forgers

China Daily reports that the Legislative Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress has proposed eliminating death penalties for 13 kinds of crime. Currently, there are 68 possible capital crimes in China.

The crimes under review are “economy-related non-violent ” offenses, including ” smuggling of relics and the faking of specialized value-added-tax receipts.”

If passed, it will be the first time the number of crimes subject to the death penalty has been reduced since the People’s Republic of China enacted its Criminal Law in 1979. 

China Daily notes that the overall number of executions in China is “unavailable,” but citing The Guardian, it reports that in 2007, 88 percent of executions worldwide ” took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United States.”

According to China Daily, executions for financial crimes as rare, but in December, a securities manager in Beijing was put to death for embezzling more than $9 million.

Another proposed revision of the national criminal law would make drunk driving and street racing crimes in their own right. Currently, drunk drivers and racers are only punished if they cause accidents, China Daily reports.

The legislators are also planning to increase the criminal penalties for enslaving laborers—raising the maximum sentence from 3 years to 7—and to tighten the laws against unauthorized harvesting of organs for transplant.