Reports: Evidentiary rules fortified
In Shanghai, for example, between July 2016 and September this year, the city’s courts received 24 applications from defense attorneys to strike evidence suspected to have been obtained illegally, leading to 15 reviews on the legality of evidence, he said.
The top prosecuting authority said in its report that it has also improved its work system to guard against wrongful cases.
“What we want is to keep prosecutors from making mistakes or proceeding with unsound prosecutions,” said Cao Jianming, procurator general of the top procuratorate.
Since 2013, charges against 870 people have been dropped after discovery of improper or illegal evidence, according to the report delivered by Cao.
Wang Dianxue, a criminal defense lawyer in Beijing, applauded the authorities’ efforts to remove improper evidence “because the stricter the review of evidence, the more effective the avoidance of wrongful convictions”.
Many courts start their review program when lawyers apply for the exclusion of improper evidence, he said. But improving communication with lawyers so they understand more about the application period also is necessary.