Capital Punishment

Man sentenced to death over vengeful arson attack

Lin Binwei confessed to setting the fire on February 23 in revenge against a man he thought was having an affair with his girlfriend. Eight people were killed in the attack.

Sunday, 9 June, 2013, 12:53pm

Beijing touts drop in capital crimes in annual human rights reports

Photo: AFP

The central government released its tenth white paper on human rights yesterday, highlighting a decrease in the number of crimes eligible for the death sentence as a sign of progress.

15 May 2013 - 4:45am

Asia moving away from the death penalty

China has eliminated the death penalty for 13 non-violent economic crimes.

Anti-death-penalty activists worldwide have been taking to the streets to express their commitment to life and opposition to the death penalty. October 10 was World Day Against the Death Penalty, and yesterday more than 30 cities illuminated a symbolic monument to commemorate the first abolition of the death penalty by a European state in 1786.

1 Dec 2012 - 2:41am

Drug mules no longer bound to die

Human rights activists are applauding Singapore's decision this week to abolish the mandatory death sentence for low-level drug couriers, giving fresh hope to dozens of inmates awaiting execution.

17 Nov 2012 - 1:24am

Parting shots

They are harrowing pictures that have triggered a debate about the death penalty. Four condemned women laugh and joke with one another, play cards, eat McDonald's and fuss over their hair and make-up in the hours before their execution.

1 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Choose life

Taiwan's defence ministry recently offered about NT$131 million (HK$33.7 million) in compensation to the family of an air force serviceman who was wrongly executed in 1997. Was it a case of a costly (some might say isolated) mistake or is something more fundamental at stake here?

4 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Why people really back death penalty

The sentencing to death of two young men last month sparked heated discussion among mainlanders.

9 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Timely move to limit death penalty

Beijing finds itself caught in the middle of conflicting sentiment over the use of the death penalty. It has long been under pressure from human rights groups around the world to reduce the number of executions.

30 May 2011 - 12:00am

Singapore failing to provide important information on death sentences

I refer to the letter from Singapore Consul General Ker Sin Tze ('Author not prosecuted in Singapore for writing about death penalty', May 15). It was in reply to comments on Liz Gooch's article in Postmagazine ('Given enough rope', May 1).

29 May 2011 - 12:00am

Judges to limit use of death sentence

The mainland's top court has instructed judges to limit the use of the death penalty and commute all capital penalties that do not warrant immediate execution to two-year suspended death sentences.

26 May 2011 - 12:00am

Given enough rope

Alan Shadrake's first attempt to talk to a state-sanctioned killer turned out to be a disappointment. Over beers in a Manchester pub, the British journalist tried to convince Harry Allen, Britain's last hangman, to shed light on the murky world of life on the gallows.

1 May 2011 - 12:00am

Life after death?

Late last month, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress reduced by 13 the number of offences punishable by death, lowering the figure to 55. It was the first time in 32 years that the legislature had cut the number of capital offences and a victory for campaigners who want to abolish the death penalty.

12 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Your primer to an issue in the news


British author Alan Shadrake has been sentenced to six weeks in a Singapore jail for contempt of court after publishing a book which criticised the city's use of the death penalty. He has also been fined S$20,000 (HK$119,000).


18 Nov 2010 - 12:00am

The right direction

Recent years have seen China making encouraging moves towards reform of the criminal justice system, especially where the death penalty is concerned. It isn't clear yet if all the reforms will be effective but at least such reforms have been accepted as the way to go.

1 Sep 2010 - 12:00am

Openness vital while death penalty remains

Rapid social and political change can often leave the statute books clogged with obsolete or inappropriate law. An example is capital punishment on the mainland. Execution is prescribed as the ultimate penalty for 68 crimes, including many for which it has rarely, if ever, been invoked.

31 Aug 2010 - 12:00am