26 Feb 2011

China removes death penalty for some crimes

2:10 pm on 26 February 2011

China has removed the death penalty for 13 non-violent crimes, including smuggling and tomb-robbing.

The change approved by China's legislature, the National People's Congress, reduces the number of crimes carrying the death penalty from 68 to 55.

Crimes removed from the capital punisment list include smuggling historic relics and tax fraud-related offences, the BBC reports.

The death penalty will not be imposed on people over the age of 75 unless they commit a murder with exceptional cruelty.

But the National People's Congress says the death penalty is still necessary for other crimes.