A Lesson for Thailand
On 31st October China adjusted its law on capital punishment to reduce judicial errors.
The new measures, which will become effective on 1st January, legislate that all death sentences passed by local courts will be reviewed and ratified by the Supreme Court.
The present system of allowing provincial High Courts to sign orders of execution was instituted in 1983 and resulted in a series of judicial errors. The President of the Supreme Court, Xiao Yang, believes that the change in law is an important stage in avoiding judicial error.
In addition certain courts will allow oral presentations of appeals to replace a review of documents only. This measure is an important indicator for Thailand where obligatory review of death sentences are by review of documentation only without the possibility of oral clarification, thereby limiting the effectiveness of the appeals to reverse errors of judgment.