Good news for China's pimps, counterfeiters, and ammunition smugglers: Their crimes are among those that the government plans to stop punishing with death. A plan put before the National People's Congress yesterday eliminates the death penalty for nine non-violent offenses but still leaves 46 capital crimes on the books, reports the New York Times. The new maximum sentence for those offenses would be life.
The San Francisco-based Dui Hua Foundation, a human rights group, estimates China executed at least 2,400 people last year, mostly for violent crimes, reports Reuters. That's far more executions than the rest of the world put together, but down from an estimated 12,000 in 2002. Three years ago, the death penalty was dropped for 13 offenses, including tax evasion and the smuggling of precious metals. (Read more China stories.)