It's not time yet for China to scrap the death penalty and it should remain in place for a long time in the future to deter serious crimes, a lawmaker said at the annual parliamentary session.
Fang Zhiyuan, a deputy to the National People's Congress, made the remark during a panel discussion on the work reports of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
Two kinds of crimes -- those endangering people's lives and safety and embezzlement of large sums from public properties -- should be subject to capital punishment, according to Fang, who is also a history professor with the Jiangxi Normal University.
In his opinion, endangering people's lives and safety also includes crimes concerning the production and sale of harmful food and/or drugs to large numbers of people.
"These crimes cause great harm to social harmony and economic development," he said. "Showing mercy for criminals convicted of these crimes is irresponsible."
"We don't have to abolish the death penalty simply because some developed countries have done so," said the professor.
He also suggested prison terms be extended for people convicted of embezzling large sums from public properties.
"These convicts should be sentenced to 30, 50 or even 100 years," he said.