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China Considers Abolishing Death Penalty for 9 Crimes

  • VOA News

FILE - A death-sentenced criminal is taken on a truck to an execution ground in Zhuzhou, central China's Hunan province.

FILE - A death-sentenced criminal is taken on a truck to an execution ground in Zhuzhou, central China's Hunan province.

China is considering removing nine crimes from its list of offenses punishable by death.

The official Xinhua news agency said Monday a draft amendment to reduce the scope of capital punishment has been submitted to the National People's Congress. Currently 55 offenses are eligible for the death penalty.

Crimes that would be exempt from capital punishment under the amendment include smuggling weapons, ammunition or nuclear materials; counterfeiting currency; and raising funds by illegal means.

The San Francisco-based Dua Hua Foundation, which seeks the release of political prisoners in China, said China executed 2,400 people in 2013 and is expected to execute a similar number this year. The exact number is considered a state secret.

Rights groups say China executes more people than the rest of the world combined.

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