Public sentencing is done in front of 10,000 people, and the horrific execution usually follows after the death sentence is issued
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” they say. Most people are calling for a swifter justice system in their country. However, in China, citizens and human right advocates call for the opposite. China has long been known for its brutal execution-style which is implemented to scare the public. The accused are paraded in front of 10,000 people during public sentencing which can be very humiliating. After the death sentence is issued, the execution is usually followed immediately. Most of the criminals who were sentenced to death were convicted of supplying or selling drugs.
The most recent and probably the most controversial ruling handed down by China’s High Court happened in January. China had been criticized over the death sentence given to Robert Lloyd Schellenberg. The Canadian citizen made an appeal for a 15-year in prison sentence given in November. However, instead of getting a lower sentence the high court said the previous sentence was too lenient for a drug smuggling case. The ruling was made a month after Canada arrested a top official at the Chinese telecom, Huawei. Gaining criticism from human rights advocates around the world.
China’s Judicial System
Based on the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China of 1982 and the Organic Law of the People’s Court which took effect on January 1, 1980, China’s court’s are divided into a four-level court system.
Supreme People’s Court (SPC) is the highest level and is regarded as the superior appellate forum in mainland China. Made up of 340 judges (appointed by the National People’s Congress), it supervises and governs the procedure of justice by all the special people courts and the local, subordinate courts. Although it is called supreme it is regarded as weak and subordinate to the Communist Party and the National People’s Congress.
Higher People’s Courts are courts of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central Government. It deals with cases of appeals from lower courts.
Intermediate People’s Courts are courts established in the capitals. The scope of its jurisdiction covers cases transferred from the basic people’s courts.
Basic People’s Courts are the lowest level located at the county, municipal districts, and autonomous counties.
Aside from the four-level court system, China also has Special Courts which includes; Military courts, Railway courts, and maritime courts that deals with cases involving servicemen, transportation and maritime cases respectively.