Re­vi­sion to stream­line pa­role rules

Move is ex­pected to pre­vent se­cret deals be­tween ju­di­cial de­part­ments and con­victs

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YI zhang_yi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The top court has is­sued a re­vi­sion to the reg­u­la­tion on seek­ing com­mu­ta­tion of sen­tences and pa­role, spec­i­fy­ing the cir­cum­stances to pre­vent un­just re­duc­tion of prison time.

The re­vi­sion, an­nounced by the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court on Tues­day, will come into ef­fect on Jan 1.

Yang Wei­dong, a pro­fes­sor on rule of law at China Na­tional School of Ad­min­is­tra­tion, said the doc­u­ment clar­i­fies the stan­dards for those ap­ply­ing for com­mu­ta­tion of sen­tences and pa­role, and re­it­er­ates the im­por­tance of ap­ply­ing the same stan­dards across the na­tion.

“The pro­vi­sions were an­nounced and ex­plained at a me­dia briefing held by the top court, mak­ing the stan­dards for seek­ing com­mu­ta­tion of sen­tences and pa­role clearer for the pub­lic. The move will help pre­vent un­der-the-ta­ble deals be­tween ju­di­cial de­part­ments and con­victs,” he said.

The new reg­u­la­tion has 42 pro­vi­sions based on the 29 clauses of the pre­vi­ous ver­sion, which was is­sued in 2012. It clar­i­fies el­i­gi­bil­ity for re­mis­sion and de­tails about ap­ply­ing the rules of the Crim­i­nal Law.

Those be­ing sen­tenced to death with a two-year re­prieve should serve at least 15 years of prison time af­ter com­mu­ta­tions, ac­cord­ing to the reg­u­la­tion.

For those sen­tenced to life in prison for cor­rup­tion or dere­lic­tion of duty, it re­quires a manda­tory min­i­mum prison time of three years be­fore they ap­ply for com­mu­ta­tion of sen­tence, and the prison term should not be re­duced to less than 20 years upon their first ap­pli­ca­tion.

Xia Daohu, head of the trial

Prob­lems have emerged with com­mu­ta­tion of sen­tence and pa­role in re­cent years.”

Xia Daohu, head of the trial su­per­vi­sion de­part­ment of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court

su­per­vi­sion de­part­ment of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court, said :“Prob­lems have emerged with com­mu­ta­tion of sen­tences and pa­role in re­cent years. Those who pos­sess money or power are usu­ally able to serve shorter terms of im­pris­on­ment and are eas­ily granted pa­role, which has put ju­di­cial cred­i­bil­ity in jeop­ardy.”

“The reg­u­la­tion is in line with re­quests by the Cen­tral Po­lit­i­cal and Le­gal Af­fairs Com­mis­sion call­ing for stricter pun­ish­ment of those guilty of cor­rup­tion ,” Xia said, adding that the reg­u­la­tion is more le­nient on cer­tain groups, in­clud­ing se­nior con­victs, those who are un­der 18 years of age and dis­abled peo­ple.

An av­er­age of 600,000 cases in­volv­ing com­mu­ta­tion of sen­tence and pa­role are pro­cessed across the coun­try each year, said Teng Wei, deputy head of the trial su­per­vi­sion de­part­ment of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court.

The reg­u­la­tion is of great sig­nif­i­cance to stan­dard­iz­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion of the qual­i­fi­ca­tion, Teng said.

“The com­mu­ta­tion of sen­tences and pa­role is an im­por­tant part of law en­force­ment. There­fore, stan­dard­iz­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion of ex­ec­u­tive rules will de­ter­mine whether jus­tice can be demon­strated,” Yang said.

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