SPC Provisions on Commutations and Parole

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parole【Issuing Body】Supreme People's Court
【Issuance Number】Judicial Interpretation (2014) No.5
【Date of Issue】2014-04-23
【Effective Date】2014-06-01
【Expiration Date】
【Document Type】Judicial Interpretation
【Document Source】中国法院网

 

Supreme People's Court Provisions on Trial Procedures for Cases of Commutation and Parole
(Passed on April 10, 2014, by the Supreme People's Court Adjudication Committee at its 1611th meeting)

Judicial Interpretation (2014) No.5

The "Supreme People's Court Provisions on Trial Procedures for Cases of Commutation and Parole" was passed by the 1611th meeting of the Adjudication Committee of the Supreme People's Court on April 10, 2014, and is hereby promulgated, to take effect on June 1, 2014.

Supreme People's Court
April 23, 2014

The following provisions are formulated on the basis of the relevant provisions of the "Criminal Law of the People's Republic of Chin and the "Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China," together with actual work in commutation and parole cases, so as to further standardize trial procedures for cases of commutation and parole, and to ensure the lawfulness and fairness of commutation and parole case trials;

Article 1: Commutation and parole cases shall be handled in accordance with the following situations:

(1) For commutation for criminals sentenced to a suspended death sentence, the high court for the place where the criminal is serving their sentence will make a decision within one month after receiving a written commutation recommendation showing review and consent from the prison management organs;
(2) For commutation and parole of criminals sentenced to indefinite imprisonment, the high court for the place where the criminal is serving their sentence will make a decision within one month after receiving a written commutation or parole recommendation showing review and consent from the prison management organs; and where the case circumstances are complicated or in special circumstances, this may be extended one month;
(3) For commutation and parole of criminals sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment or who have been commuted to fixed-term imprisonment, the intermediate court for the place where the criminal is serving their sentence will make a decision within one month after receiving a written commutation or parole recommendation from the enforcement organ; and where the case circumstances are complicated or in special circumstances, this may be extended one month;
(4) For commutation for criminals sentenced to short-term detention or controlled release, the intermediate court for the place where the criminal is serving his sentence will make a decision within one month of receiving a written commutation or parole recommendation showing review and consent from the enforcement organ.
Commutation for convicts temporarily serving their sentence outside of prison applies the relevant provisions of the previous clauses , based on the circumstances.

Article 2: People's courts accepting commutation and parole cases shall review the following materials sent by the enforcement organ:

(1) Written Commutation or Parole Recommendation;
(2) Copies of the final court's written judgment, the notice of enforcement and any previous commutation judgments;
(3) Written materials with specific facts showing that the criminal has really repented and mended their ways or made a meritorious service or major meritorious service ;
(4) the convict's appraisal review form and , record of received rewards and punishments;
(5) other materials sent which are necessary as a basis for trial.

Parole submissions shall have attached an investigation and assessment report by the community corrections organ or base level organization regarding the criminals impact on the community following parole.

Where people's procuratorates raise a procuratorate opinion on a case of commutation or parole , the enforcement organ shall send it to the people's court accepting the commutation or parole case.

Where, upon review, the materials are complete, the case shall be filed; where the materials are not complete, the enforcement organ shall be notified to supplement them within three days, and where the period passes without a supplement, the case is not filed.

Article 3: Within five days of filing the case, people's courts hearing commutation and parole cases, shall announce the enforcement organs' written recommendation for commutation or parole to the society in accordance with law.
The content of the announcement shall include the criminal's personal circumstances, the charges and term of punishment originally given, any previous commutations and the enforcement organ's recommendation and basis.
The announcement shall clearly state the period of the announcement and the method for submitting opinions. The announcement period is 5 days.

Article 4: People's courts hearing commutation and parole cases shall proceed by having adjudicators or adjudicators together with people's assessors form a collegial panel in accordance with law.

Article 5: People's courts hearing commutation and parole cases , in addition to reviewing the criminal's regular conduct during the enforcement period, shall also comprehensively consider the criminal's specific circumstances such as the original punishment, enforcement of economic penalties, performance on attached civil lawsuits, and the criminal's return of stolen goods or restitution.

People's courts hearing commutation and parole cases, in addition to reviewing the circumstances listing in the first clause, shall also comprehensively consider factors impacting recidivism such as the criminal's age, physical condition, personality characteristics, means of living after parole as well as conditions for their supervision and discipline.

Where enforcement organs propose commutation due to the criminal's meritorious service or major meritorious service, the truth of these shall be reviewed . Where it involves invention and creation, technological innovation or other such contributions, it shall be reviewed whether the success was that of the criminal alone during the period of enforcement, and be verified by the primary management organ.

Article 6: People's courts hearing commutation and parole cases may employ in-court proceedings or documentary trial methods. However, the following commutation and parole cases shall be heard in court:

(1) Where the submission for commutation is due to the criminal's major meritorious services.
(B) where the commutation submission's time of initiation, time interval, or the scope of commutation does not meet the regular provisions of judicial interpretation;
(2) Where differing opinions are received during the announcement period;
(4) Where the people's procuratorate has objections;
(5) Where the criminal submitted for commutation or parole perpetrated a crime abusing public office, organized (lead, participated in, concealed, abetted) a mafia-type organized crime, committed a crime of undermining the order of financial management, financial fraud, or others that have a major impact on society or that society is particularly concerned about;
(6) Others where people's courts find inc-court trial shall be held.

Article 7: People's courts holding in-court proceedings for commutation and parole cases shall notify the people's procuratorate, the enforcement organ and also the person submitted for commutation or parole, to participate in the hearing.
As needed, people's courts may notify witnesses who are able to show that the criminal has repented and reformed or made meritorious or major meritorious service, persons submitting different opinions during the announcement period, forensic evaluators, translators, and other persons to participate in the hearing.

Article 8: In court trials shall be held in the venue where the criminal is serving their sentence or in a place determined by the people's court. People's courts that have capacity may conduct the trial by video.

Where a criminal serving their sentence in the community is submitted for commutation because of a major meritorious service, in-court proceedings may be in the place where the criminal is serving their sentence or in their place of residence.

Article 9: In commutation and parole cases where the people's courts have decided to hold in-court proceedings , the people's procuratorate, enforcement organ, subject of the commutation and parole submission and other persons who must participate in the proceedings shall be notified of the time and location of the proceedings three days before the proceedings, and an announcement made three days before the proceedings.

Article 10: The in-court proceedings for trial of commutation and parole cases are presided over by a chief judge, and shall be conducted according to the following procedures.

(1) the chief judge announces that court is in session, and verifies the basic circumstances of the criminal submitted for commutation or parole .
(2) The chief judge announces the members of the collegial panel, the procurators, the representatives of the enforcement organ and other participants int he proceedings;
(3) The representatives of the enforcement organ read out the recommendation for commutation and parole and explain its primary reasons.
(4) The procurators express their opinions;
(5) The court conducts an inquiry and verification of the facts showing the criminal submitted for commutation or parole's repentance and reformation, meritorious or major meritorious service and other circumstances impacting commutation and parole.
(6) The final statement of the criminal submitted for commutation or parole ;
(7) The chief judge gives an overview of the trial circumstances and announces a recess for deliberations .

Article 11: 庭审过程中,合议庭人员对报请理由有疑问的,可以向被报请减刑、假释罪犯、证人、执行机关代表、检察人员提问。

Where during the course of trial, procurators have questions on the reason for the submission, after the chief judge gives permission, they may present evidence, request that witnesses appear in court , ask questions of the person submitted for commutation or parole and express their opinions. Where the person submitted for commutation or parole has questions on the reason for the submission , after the chief judge gives permission, they may present evidence, request that witnesses appear in court , and express their opinions.

Article 12: Where during the course of trial the collegial panel has questions regarding the evidence and needs to conduct an inquiry and verification, or where procurators or representatives of the enforcement organ so request, an adjournment may be announced.

Article 13: People's courts holding in-court proceedings in a commutation and parole case that can announce a judgment at court shall do so; those that cannot announce a judgment at court may select a time for announcing the judgment.

Article 14: People's courts hearing commutation and parole cases through documents may conduct an inquiry and verification of whether the person submitted for commutation or parole is eligible for commutation and parole or hear all sides' opinions.

Article 15: People's courts hearing commutation cases through documents may ask questions of the criminal submitted for commutation; those hearing parole cases through documents shall ask questions of the criminal submitted for parole.

Article 16: People's courts hearing commutation and parole cases shall differently handle them in accordance with the following situations:

(1) Where the criminal submitted for commutation or parole meets the legal requirements for commutation or parole, make a judgment to commute or parole.
(2) Where a criminal submitted for commutation meets the legal requirements for commutation, but the enforcement organ's commutation range is improper, make a judgment to commute after making appropriate adjustments to the commutation range.
(3) Where the criminal submitted for commutation or parole does not meet the legal requirements for commutation or parole, make a judgment to not give commutation or parole.
Where the enforcement organ makes a written request to withdraw the recommendation for commutation or parole before the people's court makes a judgment for commutation or parole , the people's court will decide whether to allow it.

Article 17: The written judgments for commutation and parole shall clearly state the original judgment and any previous commutations, the facts and reasoning showing that there has been repentance and reformation or meritorious or major meritorious services, as well as the legal basis for commutation or parole.

Where the judgment is for commutation, it shall clearly indicate the start and end times of penal period ; and where the judgment is for parole, it shall clearly indicate the start and end times of the probationary period.
Where it is decided to adjust the commutation range or not give commutation and parole, the reason shall be explained in the written judgment.

Article 18: After people's courts make a judgment of commutation or parole, they shall send it to the enforcement organ submitting for commutation or parole, the people's procuratorate at the same level, as well as the criminal himself. Where a parole judgment is made, if shall also be sent to the community corrections organization or base level organization.

Article 19: Commutation and parole rulings shall be announced to the public through the Internet in accordance with law.

Article 20: Where people's procuratorates find that a people's courts commutation or parole judgment is improper and submit a written correction opinion within the statutory time period, after receiving the corrective opinion, the people's court shall separately organize a collegial panel for trial and make a judgment within one month.

Article 21: Where people's courts discover that an already effective judgment from that court for commutation or parole was truly in error, it shall lawfully reform a collegial panel, conduct trial and make a judgment. Where a people's court at the level above discovers that a lower level people's court's effective commutation or parole judgment is truly in error, it shall order the lower people's court to separately form a collegial panel for trial, and may also form a collegial panel itself, in accordance with law, and make a decision.

Article 22: 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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