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|Justice at click of mouse
BEIJING, Sept. 14 -- A court in China has used a
software program to help decide prison sentences in more than 1,500 criminal
cases, a Hong Kong newspaper said Wensday.
The software, tested for two years in a court in Zibo, a
city in the eastern coastal province of Shandong, covered about 100 different
crimes, including robbery, rape, murder and State security offences,
the South China Morning Post said, citing the software's developer, Qin Ye.
"The software is aimed at ensuring standardized
decisions on prison terms. Our programs set standard terms for any subtle
distinctions in different cases of the same crime," Qin was quoted as saying.
A Beijing-based software company had worked with the Zichuan
District People's Court in Zibo since 2003 to develop the program and input
mainland criminal law, the paper said.
Judges enter details of a case and the system
produces a sentence, the paper said.
"The software can avoid abuse of discretionary power
of judges as a result of corruption or insufficient training," the paper quoted
Zichuan District People's Court chief judge, Wang Hongmei, as saying.
But some Chinese newspapers criticized the move as a
farce that highlighted the "laziness of the court" and that would not curb
judicial corruption as touted.
The software would be adopted by more courts in
Shandong Province, the paper said.
But it did not say how big a role the program played
(Source: Shenzhen Daily)