Organ traffickers may get death penalty

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, February 24, 2011
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Criminals convicted of forcefully removing organs will be eligible for the death penalty under a draft law amendment being reviewed by the top legislature.

The amendment, submitted on Wednesday to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee for a third reading, stipulates that criminals convicted of "forced organ removal, forced organ donation or organ removal from juveniles" could face punishment for homicide.

Under Article 232 of the Criminal Law, a person found guilty of homicide faces either a death sentence, life imprisonment or a fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years.

However, in the draft submitted for a second reading, reviewed by legislators in December 2010, criminals involved in the illegal organ trade could only be charged with the crime of intentional bodily harm (IBH).

According to Article 234, a criminal convicted of IBH can be sentenced to either a jail term of no more than three years, criminal detention or public surveillance. In the case of severe bodily injury, the culprit shall be sentenced to a jail term of not less than three years and no more than 10 years.

Only when the criminal causes death(s) or "severe bodily injury resulting in severe deformity by especially cruel means", can he be sentenced to jail terms of not less than 10 years, life imprisonment or death, Article 234 says.

Qin Xiyan, an NPC deputy and a Hunan-based lawyer, said forced organ removal should fall under the category of intentional killing because it may result in death.

Liu Renwen, a researcher at the Institute of Law under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told China Daily on Wednesday that it is necessary to include the illegal organ trade in the Criminal Law.

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