Departmental Bulletin Paper 中国の死刑制度とその歴史的政治性
The Death Penalty and its Political History in China

王, 雲海

15 ( 2 )  , pp.25 - 45 , 2016-07-10 , 一橋大学大学院法学研究科
China has passed the most death sentences and conducted the most executions in the world. Some Western scholars explain this situation in China as a temporary political phenomenon that has taken place only in communist/socialist China. This article presents a different view. The death penalty can have different meanings. Some forms of death penalty should properly be called a “cultural death penalty,” “political death penalty,” or even an “economic death penalty.” The death penalty in China should be called the “political death penalty.” The real reason that China has carried out most of the death sentences and executions in the world is related to the political characteristics of its death penalty. Although under Chinese criminal law many offenses are punishable by death, the death sentences and executions meted out in Chinese courts so far have concentrated mainly on violent crimes, such as murder, rape, robbery, and arson; drug crimes ; economic or monetary crimes ; and public official crimes(e.g., bribery and embezzlement). The reason Chinese courts focus on these four kinds of serious crimes for death sentences and executions is the political component of the death penalty in China. This article agrees with Western scholars that China carries out the most death penalties in the world for political reasons, but this is because China is a “state-power- based society” rather than a “communist/socialist China” as some Western scholars claim, and such political characteristic is not a temporary feature of communist or socialist China but a histo-politico characteristic throughout the whole of Chinese history. How to remove such political characteristic from the death penalty in China and ensure the political independence of this penalty in the legal system is a key issue for the future of the death penalty in China.

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