Southern Weekend Discusses Recent Death Penalty Review Decisions in Gansu Province

November 19, 2004

In its most recent article on the power of death penalty review in China, Southern Weekend (11/4) discusses the efforts of the Gansu High People's Court to overturn a series of death penalty cases. All three of the cases involved narcotics trafficking. In each case, Gansu HPC judges questioned the legality of evidence presented in lower level court proceedings, noting that witnesses who provided key evidence had disappeared or were on the run.

The HPC judges interviewed noted that even though the cases appeared to have obvious flaws, the decision to order retrials was the subject of hot debate within the court and required significant courage and willpower. One judge indicated that the Supreme People's Court has specifically approved its judgments. The report, which cast the court's work in a positive light, noted that the judges had studied overseas and were applying the theory they had studied.

Over the past several weeks, Southern Weekend has published several articles and commentaries on death penalty review procedures (10/20 and 10/28).