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NCJ Number: 97361 Find in a Library
Title: Reflections on Capital Punishment and the 'Campaign Against Crime' in the People's Republic of China
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:2  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1985)  Pages:127-137
Author(s): L L Tifft
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper develops the thesis that China's 1983 campaign against crime, including the introduction of the death penalty for seven new categories of offenses, was politically motivated and not just an effort to reduce serious crime.
Abstract: The paper looks at the formal legal system established by the post-Mao leadership, highlighting the leadership's assertion that capital punishment is necessary because of its deterrence value. It is emphasized that policies designed to bring modernization had, by mid-1983, disrupted economic relations and created criminogenic conditions. The introduction of 7 new categories of crime to be punished by the death penalty, bringing the total to 40, is reported. Foreign analysts' estimates of the results of a 5-month long campaign against crime in 1983 are provided: approximately 5,000 persons were executed, and 100,000 were banished to labor camps. Crimes most frequently punished by death are homicide, rape, and robbery, but other far less serious offenses which sometimes resulted in the death penalty, such as theft, are also discussed. Economic crimes were specifically selected to receive extensive publicity; as the economy of different areas varied, so did the selection of economically 'endangering' offenses. Media coverage in the United States is discussed as one of China's most recent tools in the campaign against crime. Finally, several positive social effects brought about by the campaign as a political tactic are identified, including the demonstration, through public ceremony and visual effects, of the superior power of the State. One photograph and 18 references are included.
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; China; Crime Control Programs; Deterrence; Media coverage; Political influences
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