From "Killing Many" to "Killing Fewer"
In many parts of the world, recent historical experience of the death penalty debate has been centered on the binary of retention versus abolition. In China, however, in the death penalty debate and in the larger story of its operation over decades, abolition has not been part of the political conversation. Here the binary is severity and leniency, which articulate the death sentencing spectrum in ideology and operation. The dialectic of severe and lenient death sentencing is central to application of the death penalty within the Criminal Law itself since China has in effect two death sentences. One, immediate execution (sixing liji zhixing), is the expression of relative severity. The other, the death sentence with a two-year reprieve (sixing huanqi zhixing, abbreviated as sihuan), is an expression of relative leniency.
The Death Penalty in China: Policy, Practice, and Freedom
Criminology not elsewhere classified