Deciding Death: How Chinese Judges Review Capital Punishment Cases

In the eastern part of Beijing, not far from the city’s main railway station, sits an unmarked, multi-storey office building whose importance can only be discerned by the presence of armed police guards. This is where the fates of China’s death-row defendants are ultimately determined. Summarizing a recent feature in Southern Weekly, we describe how these life-and-death decisions are made.

PHOTO SPC reviews death penalty cases in a separate unmarked building. Credit: internet image.

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Dui Hua Digest

In October, Executive Director John Kamm embarked on a month-long trip to China and Europe. In this issue of Digest we look at observations from Hong Kong and advocacy in Beijing, including our fourth juvenile justice exchange and an indication of legislative reform that could bode well for women. Prisoner news includes early releases in Beijing and Gansu and Dui Hua history looks at testimony to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

PHOTO Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Baodong meets with Kamm in Oct 2014. Credit: MFA China

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Dui Hua, China’s Supreme Court Hold 4th Juvenile Justice Exchange

Dui Hua held its fourth US-China juvenile justice exchange with the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing on October 13–14, 2014. Records sealing was the focus of the exchange that included a visit to a juvenile court and a full-day seminar. Executive Director Kamm lauded the exchange as an outstanding example of bilateral cooperation in the field of human rights.

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China Executed 2,400 People in 2013, Dui Hua

Dui Hua estimates that China executed approximately 2,400 people in 2013 and will execute roughly the same number of people in 2014, based on data points published in Southern Weekly and information provided to Dui Hua by a judicial official earlier this year. In 2013, 39 percent of all death penalty cases reviewed by the Supreme People’s Court were sent back to provincial courts for more evidence and fewer than 10 percent of verdicts were overturned.

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Dui Hua Digest

In September we celebrated 15 years of Dui Hua with receptions in San Francisco and Washington DC. In this issue we recap these events and look back at what are soon to be four exchanges in the field of juvenile justice. For prisoner cases, we discuss cult crimes and their perhaps tenuous application to dissidents, allies, and online hobbyists.

PHOTO Justice Kennedy met with China Juvenile Justice Delegation in 2008. Credit: MFA

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Featured Video: China’s Human Rights Diplomacy

Developments in China’s human rights diplomacy since June 4, 1989.

What We Do

Dui Hua is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that brings clemency and better treatment to at-risk detainees through promotion of universally recognized human rights in well-informed, mutually respectful dialogue with China.

We focus on four areas, with an aim to help at-risk detainees—political and religious prisoners, juvenile justice, women in prison, and selected issues in criminal justice. And we take a five-pronged approach, premised upon our belief that positive change is realized through constructive dialogue—advocacy, expert exchange, research, publications, and community engagement.

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