BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- China's courts at various levels are required to impose standardized penalty measurement from Jan. 1, 2014, the latest boost to judicial transparency and fairness, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) said Tuesday.
The SPC has previously issued two specific circulars on the standardized penalties in local courts, asking them to to accurately determine criminal responsibilities that defendants should bear, according to a guideline from the SPC.
Penalty measurement refers to discretion as to whether defendants should be sentenced to punishment below or above the norm.
The guideline specifies procedures assessing penalties for 15 crimes including intentional injury, robbery and rape.
It also asked the courts to combining punishment with leniency, stating that violent and drug crimes should be heavily punished based on benchmark sentences, while leniency should be showed to those involved in less serious crimes.
Standardized penalty measurement has been trialed since 2008 and the overall effect proved to be positive, the SPC said.