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China clarifies evidence law for criminal cases to stem miscarriages of justice

English.news.cn   2010-05-30 18:38:09 FeedbackPrintRSS

BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Following the case of a "killer" wrongfully jailed for a murder that never occurred, five Chinese ministries and judiciary organs jointly released two sets of legal rules Sunday, adjusting the criminal evidence system in a bid to prevent further miscarriages of justice.

While one regulation is principles and detailed rules for scrutinizing and gauging evidence used in cases involving the death penalty, the other sets out detailed procedures for examining evidence and for excluding evidence obtained in an illegal way like torture.

Earlier this month, Zhao Zuohai was acquitted after serving 10 years in jail for murder in Central Henan Province as the "victim," Zhao Zhenshang, reappeared alive.

Three former police officers were arrested for allegedly torturing Zhao Zuohai into confessing to a crime that never happened.

"Judicial practice in recent years shows that slack and improper methods have been used to gather, examine and exclude evidence in various cases, especially those involving the death penalty," said a statement jointly released Sunday by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of Justice.

The two regulations were jointly issued by the five organs.

Zhao's case was not a one-off.

She Xianglin, a former security guard from central China's Hubei Province, was convicted of killing his wife on the basis of a "confession" -- despite the fact the body was never found.

He was wrongfully jailed for 11 years until his wife was found alive and well in her hometown in 2005.

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Editor: Wang Guanqun
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