Suspended Execution Beyond China’s Borders

Asian Journal of Law and Society (2020 Forthcoming)

City University of Hong Kong School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-012

City University of Hong Kong Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law Research Paper Series Paper No. 2020/011

54 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2020 Last revised: 18 Nov 2020

See all articles by Daniel Pascoe

Daniel Pascoe

City University of Hong Kong (CityU) - School of Law; City University of Hong Kong (CityU) - Centre for Chinese & Comparative Law

Tobias Smith

Ohlone College

Date Written: March 1, 2020

Abstract

Although China remains the world’s most prolific death penalty jurisdiction, it has also reportedly reduced executions in the 21st century. China achieved this reduction in part through use of a nominal capital sentence called ‘suspended execution.’ The success of suspended execution as a diversionary tool has produced calls for its introduction elsewhere. However, there has been no empirical research on suspended execution outside China. This article fills this gap by identifying neighboring countries where suspended execution proposals have been considered, determining why these countries considered it, and examining how proposals were structured. We identify four Asian jurisdictions—Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia. We find that all of these countries looked to China for inspiration, each did so independently, and for reasons unrelated to China’s death penalty reforms. Our findings provide insights about capital punishment in Asia, the appeal of suspended execution and the role of China in regional penal practice.

Keywords: Death Penalty; China; Legal Diffusion; Suspended Execution; Comparative Criminal Law

Suggested Citation

Pascoe, Daniel and Smith, Tobias, Suspended Execution Beyond China’s Borders (March 1, 2020). Asian Journal of Law and Society (2020 Forthcoming), City University of Hong Kong School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-012, City University of Hong Kong Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law Research Paper Series Paper No. 2020/011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3683629

Daniel Pascoe (Contact Author)

City University of Hong Kong (CityU) - School of Law ( email )

Tat Chee Avenue
Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong

HOME PAGE: http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/slw/people/people_daniel.html

City University of Hong Kong (CityU) - Centre for Chinese & Comparative Law

83 Tat Chee Avenue
Room P5300, 5th Floor, Academic 1
Kowloon Tong
Hong Kong

Tobias Smith

Ohlone College

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