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Leniency guidelines issued

[ 2009-03-20 13:54]     字号 [] [] []  
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Stricter guidelines have been set for granting leniency to officials found guilty of corruption. This is to ensure that judgments across the country are standardized and convicts do not walk away with light sentences.

Suspects who do not turn themselves in, or confess to their crime only after police investigation or during trial should not get away with light sentences, the top judicial authorities said yesterday.

Only those who surrender as soon as a crime is uncovered and confess in full or provide vital information to secure the conviction of others will be eligible for leniency, they said.

"The guideline is an important judicial document focusing on acute problems in the process of investigation and imposing penalties in job-related cases," said a statement released along with the document by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

"It aims at imposing full punishment on the corrupt."

The document said previous guidelines on leniency have sometimes been abused. In recent years, some trials have resulted in capital punishment. In others, the guilty have been let off with light sentences or probation.

Research has found that in some cases, there were irregularities in applying the guidelines for surrender, the statement said. Some courts award leniency "universally" to criminals who confess to their crimes only during or after investigation, it added.

Chen Weidong, a professor with Renmin University of China, told China Daily that it would be conducive to striking a better balance between strictness and leniency.

Judicial policy encourages "leniency to confessors, severity to resisters" and "the guideline will make it easier to implement that policy," Chen added.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Leniency guidelines issued

About the broadcaster:

Leniency guidelines issued

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.