Thousands in China turned out for the event, which had been publicized on social media four days prior. As people talked and smoked in the stadium in Lufeng in southern Guangdong province, the Guardian reports that 10 people were sentenced to death and then whisked away to be immediately executed. Seven had committed drug-related crimes; the rest had convictions related to murder and robbery. They were among a dozen people who were transported to the stadium in police vans whose sirens were activated, reports the South China Morning Post. The fates of two of the 12 were not given.
It wasn't the first open-air sentencing hearing in Lufeng in recent days. The Morning Post reports five people were sentenced and immediately executed in 2015, and another wave of executions occurred after a public sentencing in June. The Guardian notes that while China is secretive about its execution tally, it is believed to put more people to death than the other 22 countries known to currently execute people combined, with 2016 seeing an estimated 2,000 executions in China. Amnesty International reports the US put 20 people to death in 2016, the lowest number since 1991. (This American's execution was started in November, then called off.)