This is a quick not-quite translation of an article that is full of interesting information about how Beijing is implementing the CPL. I just this very faithful summary in English rather than translate the original, but the increasing amount of skepticism as the article progresses is in the original. There’s lots of good things happening, but plenty to work on as well.
When does speech become a crime? Does it matter if one ‘speaks’ across the internet instead of the mails? How about a telephone?
The SPC and SPP issued this interpretation to try and clarify some of these issues, and the results may surprise you. Be Careful what you say on your information networks, it might be well be defamation, provocation or blackmail.
In China the question of whether a person is excused from criminal punishment by reason of mental incapacity is determined by an expert forensic evaluator who is a trained psychiatrist. There are about 2000 forensic psychiatric evaluators for all of China. The defense has no right to request an evaluation or hire his own experts, but may informally as that police, prosecutors or the courts do so. Their evaluation is rarely challenged, and many persons found ‘criminally insane’ will simply be released to their families. I guess, it’s clear why one would want to bribe them
This is not your Zhou Yongkang’s Political-Legal Commission. Following the ongoing discussion of the role of cops, procs and courts in preventing wrongful convictions, the political legal commission has apparently issued a guiding opinion weighing in on the matter. Will it be more successful in stopping wrongful convictions and police abuse than, well, the laws have been? Time will tell, but this is a promising sign of commitment to reform.
Shen Deyong continues to push the Zhou Qiang court’s commitment to the presumption of innocence, and strict requirements of evidence in both sentencing and adjudication. Calling on the courts to work together with police and procuratorates to raise the quality of evidence gathering, presentation, debate and acceptance, and to recognize the equal and legitimate role that defense attorneys play in this process.