Execution by lethal injection adopted as official alternative
Execution by lethal injection is to be officially introduced as an alternative to firing squads.
Four death-row convicts were executed by lethal injection in Kunming yesterday, Xinhua reported.
'The convicts died within 32 to 58 seconds and showed no pain,' the execution report of Kunming Intermediate People's Court in Yunnan said.
Lethal injections were ratified by a law that took effect on January 1.
Officials admitted lethal injections had been used 22 times since March under the administration of the Kunming court, the first pilot city in the experiment.
Xinhua said authorities were pleased with the trial results and the method would be introduced in other provinces. The use of bullets might be gradually phased out.
'This method is humane and can save financial and staff resources,' a Kunming court spokesman said.
Experiments were conducted under a pilot scheme at Kunming Court Hospital led by hospital director Wang Jun. More than 1,000 experiments were conducted with animals.
International human rights organisations have criticised China for its mass execution of criminals.
At least 4,367 were executed by firing squads last year - more than the rest of the world combined.