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Several Provisions on Protection of Parties' Lawful Rights and Interests During Death Penalty Review and Enforcement Procedures

Promulgation Date: 2019-8-8
Title: Several Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Protection of Parties'  Lawful Rights and Interests During Death Penalty Review and Enforcement Procedures
Document Number:
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities: Supreme People's Court
Source of text: People's Court Bulletin August 9, 2019 Page 3

Article 1: When the High People's Courts' serve lawful death penalty judgment opinions to defendants in accordance with law, they shall inform them that they have the right to retain defense lawyers for the stage of the Supreme People's Court's final review of death sentences, and record this notice in the verdict records; and where defendants submit that their close relatives are to retain a lawyer on their behalf, the High People's Courts shall promptly notify their close relatives except where it is not possible to give notice for objective reasons, and record this notice in the case file.

Article 2: In cases of final review of death sentences by the Supreme People's Court, defense lawyers shall submit relevant paperwork to the Supreme People's Court within 10 days of accepting retention or appointment, and submit defense opinions within a month and a half of accepting retention or appointment.

Article 3: Where defense lawyers submit relevant paperwork, defense opinions, evidence, and other such materials, they may have the High People's Courts collect them and transfer them with the case, or may also mail them to them Supreme People's Court.

Article 4: Defense opinions and evidence materials submitted by lawyers after the Supreme People's Court issues a ruling to conduct a review, shall be taken and an inventory list shall be issued; where upon review the relevant defense opinions and evidence materials might impact the outcome of the death penalty review, transfer of the suspect for enforcement shall be suspended or enforcement stopped, but defense retention formalities are not to be repeated.

Article 5: After the Supreme People's Court issues rulings from the review, the people's courts entrusted with announcing the verdict shall send the Supreme People's Court's written judgment opinion to the defense attorney within 5 days of announcing the verdict.

In cases where the victims are deceased, where the victims' close family apply to receive the judgment opinion, the the people's courts entrusted with announcing the verdict shall provide it.

Article 6: Before first-instance people's courts carry out a death sentence, the convict shall be informed that he may apply to meet with their close relatives.

Where convicts apply for a meeting and provide specific contact methods, the people's courts shall notify their close relatives. Where after searching there is truly no way to contact the convicts' close family, or their family refuses to meet them, the convict shall be informed. Where convicts propose leaving a last testament by means such as audio or visual recording, the people's courts may permit it.

The notice on meetings and related circumstances shall be recorded in the case file.

Article 7: Where convicts' close relatives apply for a meeting, the people's courts shall permit it and promptly arrange the meeting before the death penalty is carried out, except where the convict refuses to meet.

Circumstances of convicts refusing meetings shall be recorded in the case file and their relatives shall be promptly informed, when necessary, an audio or visual recording shall be made.

Article 8: Where convicts propose meeting with family and friends other than close family, and upon review the people's courts find there is truly a legitimate reason, they may permit it so long as the safety of the meeting is ensured.

Article 9: Where convicts apply to meet with their minor children, it shall be upon the consent of the minor children's guardian; and where the meeting might impact the minors physical and psychological health, the people's courts may arrange the meeting to be through appropriate methods such as video calls, and the guardians shall be present.

Article 10: The people's courts are responsible for arranging meetings, which are usually conducted at the convicts' custodial facility.

Article 11: Persons meeting with convicts shall comply with the custodial facilities' rules. Where rules are violated, a warning shall be given; and where the warning is not heeded, the people's court may terminate the meeting.

Where threats or insults to judicial personnel are made, or the order in the custodial facilities is intentionally disrupted, impeding official's performance of their duties, and the circumstances are serious, legal responsibility is to be pursued in accordance with law.

Article 12: Circumstances of meetings shall be recorded in the case file and archived with the file.

Article 13: These Provisions take effect on September 1st, 2019.

Where judicial interpretations and normative documents previously released by the Supreme People's Court differ from these Provisions, these Provisions control.


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