An American-based group says China executed 2,400 people in 2013. The group, the Dua Hui Foundation, also says it expects China will execute about the same number this year.
Death penalty numbers are a state secret in China. In other words, the government does not release the information to the public. As a result, rights groups use unofficial reports and statements to estimate the number of executions.
Researchers believe the number of people executed in China has decreased since 2007. At that time, the Supreme People’s Court was given power to review all death sentences.
But Dui Hua says only 39 percent of death penalty cases go to the court for consideration. And, the court overturns less than 10 percent of the decisions.
In recent years, China has also reduced the number of crimes that can be punished by death. However, people are still executed for some non-violent crimes, such as drug trafficking and corruption.
I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.
*This report was based on a story from VOA’s News Division. Kelly Jean Kelly wrote this report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
secret – n. a piece of information that is kept hidden
overturn – v. decides that a decision is wrong and changes it
trafficking – n. illegally buying something and selling it, especially in another country
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