Judiciary reports on effort to push reform
China’s top judicial authorities presented longanticipated reports on Wednesday to national legislators on their progress in upholding the law and preventing wrongful convictions in the wake of important judicial reforms in 2013.
The Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate both submitted reports to the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Wednesday.
The top court said it had overturned 37 wrongful convictions since November 2012, including in the high-profile case of Nie Shubin, who was exonerated on Dec 2, 2016, more than two decades after he was wrongly executed for rape and murder.
“We’ve issued guidelines in recent years to prevent wrongful cases, such as the one regulating evidence reviews by courts, and we’ve ordered courts not to convict defendants on insufficient evidence,” said Zhou Qiang, president of the top court. “The aim is to uphold justice and protect human rights.”
Thanks to these efforts, courts acquitted 4,032 defendants in accordance with the law between 2013 and September this year, the report said.
Courts have also been ordered to strictly exclude evidence obtained illegally, including evidence gained by torture, “and not to force anyone to plead guilty”, Zhou said.