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New Regulation Guarantees Death Penalty Review
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China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) will send back cases involving death sentence to provincial courts for retrial if it finds errors in judgment, according to a regulation released by the SPC Tuesday.

"The new regulation will guarantee that death sentences are handed out with caution by ordering retrials, which will also improve the efficiency of SPC death penalty reviews," a SPC spokesman told Xinhua Tuesday.

Previously the high court had authority to change any sentence, but under the new regulation, the SPC will only be able to repeal the original death penalty sentences in cases involving individual criminals facing multiple death sentences, or multiple criminals facing death penalties.

Beginning Jan. 1 of this year, the SPC was empowered to ratify death sentences, rescind or change them, or order a retrial. The new regulation amending these powers will take effect on Feb. 28.

(Xinhua News Agency February 28, 2007)

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