Promulgation Date: 2021-12-3 Title: Guiding Opinions on the People's Procuratorate's Sentencing Recommendation Work in Plea Cases Document Number: Expiration date: Promulgating Entities:Supreme People's Procuratorate Source of text: https://www.spp.gov.cn/xwfbh/wsfbt/202112/t20211220_539038.shtml#2
People's procuratorates of all provinces, autonomous regions and directly governed municipalities; people's liberation army military procuratorates and the people's procuratorate for the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps:
The sentencing recommendation has drafted the Guiding Opinions on the People's Procuratorate's Sentencing Recommendation Work in Plea Cases (hereinafter simply 'Guiding Opinions on Sentencing Recommendations) on the basis of the Criminal Procedure Law and the People's Procuratorate Rules of Criminal Procedure, and in consideration of actual conditions of procuratorial work n order to implement Xi Jinping throught on the rule of law, to further regulate work on sentencing recommendations, to promote the full regulation of the application of the system of leniency for those who confess and accept punishment [plea leniency system] in accordance with law, and they have been adopted at the 78th meeting of the 13th Procuratorial Committee of the Supreme People's Procuratorate on November 15, 2021. The following requirements are concurrently submitted.
I. Increase ideological understanding. In handling plea leniency case, procuratorates submitting sentencing recommendations in accordance with law is a critical step for implementing the criminal policy of blending leniency and severity, further increasing the quality and efficacy of handling plea leniency cases, and promoting the realization of judicial fairness and justice. All levels of people's procuratorate should further elevate their political position, fully recognizing the important significance of sentencing recommendation efforts in handling plea leniency cases, and continuously enhance implementation of the Guiding Opinions on Sentencing Recommendations' consciousness of thought and action, to truly promote the thorough development of sentencing recommendation efforts, and continuously increase the quality and efficacy of handling plea leniency cases.
2. Strengthen communication and coordination. To do a good job in carrying out sentencing recommendation efforts in the handling of plea leniency cases, it is necessary to make sentencing recommendations more scientific and standardized. This involves many departments such as public security organs, procuratorates, adjudicatory organs, state security organs, and judicial-administrative organs. All levels of people's procuratorate should strengthen coordination and cooperation with relevant units, and follow the Guiding Opinions on Sentencing Recommendations to fully explain the law and explain the reasoning, hear opinions, and especially to strengthen communication with the criminal suspects or defendants and their defenders or duty lawyers, and earnestly address defense opinions and truly safeguard the right to a defense.
3.. Strengthen oversight and restraints The emphasis in submitting sentencing recommendations in the handling of plea leniency cases is on precision and standardization, and it is necessary to complete mechanisms for oversight and restraint. All levels of people's procuratorate should follow the "Criminal Procedure Rules of the People's Procuratorate", the People's Procuratorate's Measures on the Oversight and Management of Plea Cases，the Guiding Opinions on Sentencing Recommendations and other relevant provisions to further complete and refine oversight mechanisms for sentencing recommendations, and to give play to the role of the joint procurator's conference in negotiation consultations, and the gatekeeper role of the department heads, chief procurators, and procuratorial committees, to ensure that sentencing recommendations are uniformly regulated, transparent, and measured.
The Guiding Opinions on Sentencing Recommendations are an important basis for regulating the sentencing recommendation work in the handling of plea cases. In consideration of actual work conditions, all levels of people's procuratorate should earnestly organize study and training to truly increase procurators' capacity to submit and level of sentencing recommendations, Higher level people's procuratorates should truly strengthen research and guidance, clarify work requirements, and promptly understand the application situation in their region, researching issues and challenges uncovered during work, and ensuring the full and smooth implementation of the Guiding Opinions on Sentencing Recommendations. Please promptly report any major or difficult issues uncovered through practice to the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
Supreme People's Procuratorate
December 3, 2021
Guiding Opinions on the People's Procuratorate's Sentencing Recommendation Work in Plea Cases
(Adopted at the 78th meeting of the 13th Procuratorial Committee of the Supreme People's Procuratorate on November 15, 2021)
These Opinions are drafted on the basis of the Criminal Procedure Law and the People's Procuratorate Rules of Criminal Procedure and in consideration of actual conditions of procuratorial work, so as to thoroughly implement the criminal policy of blending leniency and severity, regulating the people's procuratorate's work on sentencing recommendations in handling plea cases, promoting openness and justice in sentencing, and strengthening oversight and restraint on the procuratorate's sentencing recommendation activities.
Chapter I: Ordinary Provisions
Article 1: Where criminal suspects admit guilt and accept punishment [plea], the people's procuratorates shall submit sentencing recommendations on the primary punishment, supplementary punishments, whether to give a suspended sentence, and so forth.
The people's procuratorates handling plea cases shall submit a definite sentencing recommendation based on a comprehensive review of the evidence, finding of facts, and correct determination of the charges.
Article 2: People's procuratorates submission of sentencing recommendations in plea cases shall adhere to the following principles:
(1) Combining leniency and severity. Sentencing recommendations shall be submitted based on the specific circumstances of the crime and comprehensive consideration of all sentencing circumstances favoring aggravation, mitigation, commutation, or waiver of punishment, making it so that those who should be treated leniently are treated leniency, those who should be treated sternly are treated sternly, and leniency is combined with severity, with an appropriate degree of each.
(2) Recommendations in accordance with law. Sentencing recommendations shall be submitted based upon the facts, nature, and circumstances of the crime, and the degree of harm to society, and in accordance with the Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, and relevant judicial interpretations.
(3) Objective and Just. Evidence showing innocence, guilt, that the crime was minor or severe, or for leniency or severity, shall be fully collected and reviewed; and the opinions of criminal suspects or defendants, defenders, or duty lawyers, victims and their agents ad litem shall be heard in accordance with law; to submit a sentencing recommendation that is objective and just.
(4) Having the penalty correspond to the crime. The submission of sentencing recommendations should both embody leniency for those who plea, and also consider the severity of the crimes committed by the criminal suspects or defendants, the criminal responsibility they should bear, and the size of the harm to society, to ensure that the punishment fits the crime and avoid an imbalance between punishment and responsibility.
(5) Balanced sentencing. In cases where the facts and circumstances of the crime are essentially the same, the sentencing recommendations submitted shall be essentially balanced.
Article 3: People's procuratorates shall meet the following requirements in sentencing recommendation in plea cases:
(1) The facts of the crime are clear and the evidence is credible and sufficient;
(2) The legally prescribed sentencing circumstances calling for heavier, lighter, mitigated, or waived punishment on which the sentencing recommendations are based have been investigated;
(3) The discretionary sentencing circumstances calling for heavier or lighter punishment on which the sentencing recommendations are based have been investigated.
Article 4: The people's procuratorates handling plea cases shall usually submit a definite sentencing recommendation. In new types of cases, cases of rarely seen crimes, or cases of major crimes where the sentencing circumstances are complex, they may also submit a sentencing recommendation with a range of penalties, but the scope of the sentencing recommendation's range shall be strictly controlled.
Article 5: People's procuratorates submitting sentencing recommendation in the handling of plea cases shall follow relevant provisions to conduct simultaneous audio or visual recording of the hearing of opinions
Chapter II: Review of Sentencing Evidence
Article 6: All basic facts and sentencing circumstances impacting sentencing should have corresponding evidence supporting them.
In cases transferred by the investigating organs to be reviewed for prosecution, the people's procuratorates shall review whether all evidence on guilt or innocence, the severity of the crime, and leniency or severity were transferred with the case; and where they were transferred with the case, they shall notify the investigating organs of the designated time for a transfer. Where there is sentencing evidence that needs to be collected by the investigating organs that was not collected, the people's procuratorate may notify the investigating organs to supplement the relevant evidence or may return the case to the investigating organs for supplemental investigation, and may also conduct a supplemental investigation themselves.
In cases where it is necessary to give financial penalties, the people's procuratorate shall request that the investigating organs collect evidence on the criminal suspects' financial situation and transfer it with the case.
Article 7: For situations of voluntary surrender, the review shall emphasize circumstances such as the proactiveness of the surrender, and the veracity and consistency of the confession.
For situations of meritorious contribution, the review shall emphasize the severity of crimes uncovered, the role of the leads provided in breaking the case or helping to apprehend other criminal suspects, the punishments that the person informed on or revealed might receive or has already been sentenced to. Where criminal suspects have meritorious contribution in giving information on or revealing crimes, a review shall be made of the sources from which the criminal suspect learned of the leads, whether they were transferred to the investigating organs, and whether the investigating organs carried out an investigation and verification.
For repeat or habitual offenders and those with criminal records or records of misconduct, the relevant materials such as judgments, rulings, and proofs of release shall be collected, and the review is to focus on the nature of their conduct before and after, the length of time that has elapsed, the number of records, and the severity of the offenses.
Article 8: Based on the circumstances of the case, the people's procuratorates shall conduct a review of discretionary sentencing circumstances for the criminal suspect such as the methods employed, motive, subjective malice, whether they have settled with victims and obtained forgiveness, whether they have returned stolen goods or made restitution, and whether they have records, and make a comprehensive assessment in consideration of their family situation, the environment in which they grew up, their mental health, and so forth.
Evidence on personal character must not be used as evidence for a verdict, but such relevant character evidence may be used in comprehensive consideration of discretionary sentencing circumstances.
Article 9: People's procuratorates submitting sentencing recommendations in handling plea cases shall hear the opinions of the victims and their agents ad litem, and make whether the criminal suspect has reached mediation or settlement agreement with victims or compensated victims' losses and obtained victims' forgiveness, their willingness to take responsibility for restoring or compensating harms to the public interest, and so forth, important considerations in giving a lenient punishment.
Where the criminal suspects voluntarily admit guilt and are willing to compensate losses, but cannot reach a settlement or mediation agreement because the victims refuse to accept compensation or their demands for compensation are clearly unreasonable, appropriate leniency may still be shown to the criminal suspect in comprehensive consideration of the compensation circumstances and all other circumstances in the case, except where the criminal conduct is extremely serious, or the circumstances are extremely vile.
When necessary, the people's procuratorate may hear the opinions of the investigating organs, relevant administrative law enforcement organs, or basic level organizations and the public for the area where the crime occurred or where the criminal suspect resides.
Article 10: People's procuratorates shall earnestly review investigative assessment opinions sent by the investigating organs on the criminal suspects' dangerousness to the public and the impact of the crime on the community in which they live. Where the investigating organs have not commissioned an investigative assessment, and the people's procuratorate plans to give a sentencing recommendation for controlled release or a suspended sentence, they shall normally entrust the community corrections establishment for the area where the criminal suspect resides, or a relevant organization, to conduct and investigative assessment, and when necessary they may also conduct the investigative assessment themselves.
The investigative assessment opinions are to be an important consideration in the people's procuratorate's submission of sentencing recommendations for controlled release or suspended sentences. When people's procuratorates initiating a prosecution have already received investigative assessment materials, they shall transfer them all to the people's court, and where they have already commissioned an investigative assessment but have not yet received the materials, and the people's procuratorate finds through review of the full case circumstances that the requirements are met for giving the criminal suspect controlled release or a suspended sentence, they may submit a sentencing recommendation for controlled release or a suspended sentence and concurrently transfer the commission documents to the people's court along with the case.
Chapter III: Submisission of Sentencing Recommendations
Article 11: The people's procuratorates shall follow the basic sentencing methodology in guiding opinions on sentencing to determine the starting sentence, base sentence, potential sentence, and submit a sentencing recommendation. In new types of cases and cases of rarely seen crimes, a sentencing recommendation may be submitted with reference to related sentencing specifications and judgments in similar cases.
Article 12: Definite sentencing recommendations that are submitted shall indicate the punishment type and length of the primary sentence, and whether a suspended sentence will be applied.
Where a sentence of short-term detention is recommended, a definite sentencing recommendation shall usually be submitted.
Where supplemental punishments are recommended, the type of supplemental shall be submitted.
Where fines are recommended, the amount of the fine submitted shall be based on the circumstances of the crime and comprehensively consider the criminal suspects' ability to pay.
Where a suspended sentence is recommended, it shall be clearly submitted.
Article 13: Except where there are circumstances for commuting a sentence, ranged sentencing recommendations shall be submitted within the legally-prescribed sentencing range, and must not cross two types of primary sentence.
Where a sentence of a prison term is recommended, a relatively clear sentencing range should be submitted. Where a prison term of between 6 months and 1 year is recommended, the range should normally not exceed two months; where a prison term of between 1 and 3 years is recommended, the range should not normally exceed 6 months; where a prison term of between 3 and 10 years is submitted, the range should not normally exceed two years.
Where a sentence of controlled release is recommended, the range should not normally exceed 3 months.
Article 14: The sentencing recommendations submitted by people's procuratorates shall differ based on the different procedural phases in which pleas are made, the different values and meaning for ascertaining case facts, whether there are demonstrations of remorse, as well the seriousness of the crimes, and so forth; and shall comprehensively consider and determine the extent and scope of leniency. Beyond the range for leniency, active pleas are better than passive pleas, early pleas are better than later pleas, complete pleas are better than incomplete pleas, and consistent pleas are better than inconsistent pleas.
The scope of leniency for pleas is usually greater than that for just coming clean or admitting guilt but not accepting punishment. A greater scope of leniency within the legally-prescribed range shall be given to criminal suspects that have circumstances of voluntary surrender or coming clean, as well as admitting guilt and accepting punishment.
Article 15: Where a criminal suspect has pleaded but their criminal conduct has any of the following circumstances, the sentencing recommendation should strictly control the extent of leniency or not give leniency in accordance with law.
(1) they are the ringleader or primary offender in cases of crimes endangering national security, terrorist activity crimes, mafia-type organized crimes and major drug crimes；
(2) In cases where the nature and harmful consequences of the crime are especially serious, the criminal methods are especially cruel, the social impact especially vile;
(3) Where the crime is more minor but they are vile circumstances such as being a repeat or habitual offender;
(4) where there was sexual abuse or other major violations against minors;
(5) Other circumstances where the extent of leniency should be strictly controlled, or that are not suited for leniency.
Article 16: Where criminal suspects have both aggravating circumstances and circumstances for mitigation or commutation of punishment, the degree of adjustment from each circumstance shall be fully considered and comprehensively analyzed to submit a sentencing recommendation, and they must not be entirely mitigated or aggravated based solely on a single factor.
Where a criminal suspect has circumstances for commutation of punishment, the sentencing recommendation shall be made below the legally-prescribed penalty; where there are multiple penalty ranges, the sentencing recommendation shall be made within the next lower legally-prescribed sentencing range.
Article 17: Where the criminal suspect has committed a number of crimes and also has sentencing circumstances such as meritorious services or repeat offenses; first apply those sentencing circumstances to adjust each crime's base sentence and separately submit sentencing recommendation; then make a sentencing recommendation on the punishment to be enforced by conducting combined punishment for several offenses in accordance with law. Where people's procuratorates submit sentencing recommendations, they shall submit distinct sentencing recommendations for each crime charged, and submit a sentencing recommendation on the punishment to be enforced after combining punishment for multiple crimes.
Article 18: In cases of joint crimes, the people's procuratorate shall separately submit sentencing recommendations for each criminal suspect based on their status and role in the joint crime, and the criminal responsibility they should bear. When submitting sentencing recommendations, attention shall be paid to the sentencing balance between the criminal suspects.
Article 19: Based on the actual circumstances of the case, the people's procuratorates may fully consider changes that may occur after indictment in terms of sentencing factors such as return of stolen goods, restitution, criminal settlement, and repair of harms, and submit a sentencing recommendation for circumstances where those requirements are satisfied
Article 20: People's procuratorates may analyze cases and calculate sentences with the assistance of the Smart Sentencing Assistance System, and submit a sentencing recommendation in accordance with law based on consideration of the results and the specific circumstances of the case.
Article 21: Procurators shall fully review fact evidence, correctly determine the character of the case, propose a preliminary sentencing recommendation based on the sentencing circumstances, and organize the hearing of opinions.
In any one of the following circumstances, procurators shall report to the responsible person for the department or recommend convening a procurators' conference for deliberation, and organize a hearing of opinions after the scope of the sentencing recommendation is determined.
(1) New or uncommon crimes;
(2)The case is major, difficult, or complex;
(3) the case involves a large number of criminal suspects;
(4) where there was sexual abuse of minors;
(5) it might be clearly inconsistent with the outcomes of handling the same type of case or related cases;
(6) Others that need to be reported or deliberated;
Procurators shall submit sentencing recommendations within the scope of the authority provided in relevant provisions. Where the circumstances of the case are major, difficult, or complex, the sentencing recommendation shall be deliberated and decided upon by the chief procurator or the procuratorial committee.
Chapter IV: Hearing opinions.
Article 22: In handling plea cases, the people's procuratorate shall ensure that the criminal suspects obtain effective assistance of counsel in accordance with law. Where criminal suspects request to retain a defender, their rights to a defense will be fully safeguarded, and it is strictly prohibited to request that criminal suspects end the retention.
Where they have not retained a defender, the duty lawyers shall be promptly notified to provide the criminal suspects with legal assistance such as legal consultation, selection of procedures, and applications to modify compulsory measures. Where the requirements for notification of legal aid are met, they shall notify the legal aid institution to appoint a lawyer to provide them a defense.
People's procuratorates shall facilitate defenders and duty lawyers' meeting with clients, accessing the case file, and so forth.
Article 23: Where legal aid institutions appoint a lawyer to provide a defense to the criminal suspects, and the criminal suspects' guardians or immediate family members also retain a defender on their behalf, the criminal suspects' opinions should be heard, and they should determine their choice of defender. Where the criminal suspect is a minor, their guardians' opinions shall be heard.
Article 24: When the people's procuratorates hear opinions they shall notify the criminal suspect and their defender or the duty lawyer of the procedural rights that they enjoy, the legal provisions on plea leniency, the facts, charges, and sentencing circumstances that are proposed, and the proposed sentencing recommendation and its legal basis.
People's procuratorates hearing opinions may do so in person, through remote video, or other methods.
Article 25: People's procuratorates shall fully explain the reasoning and legal basis of the sentencing recommendation and hear the opinions of the criminal suspect and their defender or duty lawyers.
Where criminal suspects and their defenders or the duty lawyers submit different opinions on the sentencing recommendation or submit evidence impacting the sentencing, and after review the people's procuratorate finds that the comments of the criminal suspect and their defender or the duty lawyers are reasonable, they shall adopt them and adjust the sentencing recommendation accordingly, but where upon review they are found to be unreasonable, they shall interpret and explain the relevant laws, case circumstances, and potential judgment.
Article 26: When necessary in the course of hearing opinions, people's procuratorates may disclose the main evidence materials impacting sentencing to the criminal suspect in full or in part through means such as presentation, reading out, or playing, explaining what the evidence proves, and urge the criminal suspect to plea.
Where disclosure of verbal evidence is required, attention should be paid to reasonably selecting the content and method of disclosure, to avoid obstructing the proceedings or impacting hearings.
Article 27: After hearing opinions, where a consensus is reached, the criminal suspect shall sign a plea affidavit. Where there are circumstances for which paragraph 2 of the Criminal Procedure Law articles 174 provides an affidavit does not need to be signed, it does not impact the submission of a lenient sentencing recommendation.
Where criminal suspects have a defender, the defender shall be present to witness the signing of the plea affidavit, and the defender must not be bypassed by arranging for a duty lawyer to be present to witness it. Where the defender truly cannot be present for objective reasons, they may witness the signing of the affidavit by remote video.
Where criminal suspects who voluntarily plea have not retained a defender and refuse the assistance of the duty lawyers, the duty lawyers shall be notified to appear as witnesses when the affidavit is signed, and this should be notified on the affidavit. Where duty lawyers have objections to the people's procuratorate's sentencing recommendation or application of procedures, the procurators shall hear their opinions, and notify them that they shall sign the plea affidavit after confirming that the criminal suspect voluntarily pleaded.
When juvenile criminal suspects sign an affidavit, their legal representative shall be present and sign in confirmation. Where the legal representatives cannot be present, an appropriate adult shall be present and sign in confirmation. Where their legal representative or defender objects to the juvenile's plea; a juvenile criminal suspect does not need to sign the plea affidavit.
Article 28: Where during the course of hearing opinions, criminal suspects and their defenders or the duty lawyers provide new evidence that might impact sentencing or submit different opinions, and a review or verification is needed, the hearing of opinions may be suspended. Where after review, verification, and full preparation, the people's procuratorate may continue to hear opinions.
Article 29: Where after the people's procuratorate initiates a prosecution, but before court proceedings begin, the defendant voluntarily pleas, the people's procuratorate may organize a hearing of opinions. Where a consensus is reached, the defendant shall sign a plea affidavit with the defender or duty lawyer present.
Article 30: In plea cases, where after the criminal suspect signs a plea affidavit there are no new facts or evidence, and the criminal suspect has not recanted, the people's procuratorate must not revoke the plea affidavit or change the sentencing recommendation. Except where it is discovered that the criminal suspect's admission of guilt and remorse were false, where they recant after a plea, or where they do not fulfill necessary requirements to make compensation for losses, return stolen goods, or make restitution, a heavier sentencing recommendation must not be made.
Article 31: People's procuratorates submitting sentencing recommendations shall normally draft a written sentencing recommendation and transfer it to the people's court together with the indictment. In cases where the facts and sentencing circumstances are simpler and the expedited procedures are being applied, they may also indicate the sentencing recommendation in the indictment.
The written sentencing recommendation shall indicate the primary and supplementary penalties for the criminal suspect, whether the sentence is to be suspended, and so forth, as well as the reasoning and basis, and when necessary, a separate document explaining the reasoning of the sentencing recommendation may be independently issued. Where the expedited procedures are applied to hear a case and the sentencing recommendation is indicated in the indictment, the explanation may be simplified in the indictment.
Chapter V: Adjustment of Sentencing Recommendations
Article 32: Where after hearings people's courts find that the sentencing recommendation is clearly improper or that the defendant or defender have reasonable objections to the sentencing recommendation, and recommend that the people's procuratorate adjust the sentencing recommendation, the people's procuratorate shall earnestly review, and where it finds that the people's court's recommendation is reasonable they shall adjust the sentencing recommendation, and where they find that the people's court's recommendation is improper, they shall explain the reasons and basis.
People's procuratorates adjusting the sentencing recommendation may draft a sentencing recommendation adjustment document and transfer it to the people's court.
Article 33: Where the sentencing recommendation is adjusted before court proceedings begin or during an adjournment, the opinions of the defendant, their defender, or the duty lawyer, shall be heard anew.
Where the sentencing recommendation is adjusted during the trial, and the defendant and their defender have no objections, the people's procuratorate may make the adjustment at court and make a record in the case file. Where it is not possible to reach a consensus at court, or where the reporting and decision procedures are required to adjust the sentencing recommendation, a recommendation may be made for the court to adjourn, and a hearing of opinions is to be organized in accordance with articles 24 and 25 of these Opinions, and after the corresponding procedures are performed, decide on whether an adjustment is to be made.
In plea cases applying the expedited procedures, where it is necessary to adjust the sentencing recommendation, the adjustment shall be made before trial or at court.
Article 34: Where after the defendant signs the plea affidavit, they recant at trial and no longer admit guilt and accept punishment, the people's procuratorate shall learn of the reasons for the recanting, and where the defendant clearly no longer admits guilt and accepts punishment, the people's procuratorate shall recommend that the court no longer apply the plea leniency system, revoke the lenient sentencing recommendation, and recommend that the court consider the relevant circumstances when sentencing. Where it is necessary to switch to ordinary procedures or simplified procedures for trial, the people's procuratorate shall submit a recommendation to the people's court.
Article 35: Where the defendant has pleaded, but the defender makes a non-guilty defense at trial, the people's procuratorate shall verify the veracity and voluntariness of the defendant's plea. Where the defendant still admits guilt and accepts punishment, the plea leniency system may still be applied, but where the defendant recants and no longer admits guilt and accepts punishment, it is to be handled in accordance with article 34 of these Opinions.
Article 36: Procurators shall adjust sentencing recommendations within the scope of their authority. Where based on article 21 of these Opinions, it is within the scope of procurators authority, the procurators may adjust the sentencing recommendation and report it for filing with the department's responsible person; where it is with the scope of the chief procurator's or procuratorial committee's authority, the chief procurator or procuratorial committee is to make the decision on the adjustment.
Chapter VI: Oversight of Sentencing
Article 37: Where the people's courts violate paragraph 2 of Criminal Procedure Law article 201 by failing to notify the people's procuratorate to adjust the sentencing recommendation and directly making a judgment, the people's procuratorate shall normally submit a procuratorial counter-appeal in accordance with law on the basis of a violation of legally-prescribed procedures.
Article 38: In the trial of plea cases, where the people's court finds that the sentencing recommendation is clearly improper and recommends that the people's procuratorate adjust it, and the people's procuratorate does not adjust it or the people's court still does not adopt it after an adjustment, and the people's procuratorate finds that the sentencing in the judgment or ruling is truly in error, a procuratorial counter-appeal shall be submitted in accordance with law, or conduct oversight through means such as submitting a procuratorial recommendation or issuing a notice to corret illegal conduct.
Article 39:In plea cases, where the people's court adopts the sentencing recommendation submitted by the people's procuratorate to make a judgment or ruling, and the defendant appeals solely on the grounds that the sentence is too harsh, the people's procuratorate shall submit a procuratorial counter-appeal in accordance with law on the grounds that the defendant has recanted and no longer admits guilt and accepts punishment, making the lenient punishment clearly improper.
Chapter VII: Supplementary Provisions
Article 40: Peoples procuratorates handling cases of plea leniency in second-instance trials or retrials are to submit sentencing recommendations with reference to these Opinions.
Article 41: These Rules are to take effect from the date of their release.