Chapter III Punishments

Chapter III Punishments

Section 1. Types of Punishments

Article 32. Punishments are divided into principal punishments and supplementary punishments.

Article 33. The types of principal punishments are:

(1) control;
(2) Criminal detention;
(3) fixed-term imprisonment;
(4) life imprisonment; and
(5) The death penalty.

Article 34. The types of supplementary punishments are:

(1) Fines;
(2) Deprivation of political rights; and
(3) Confiscation of property.

Supplementary punishments may also be applied independently.

Article 35. Deportation may be applied in an independent or supplementary manner to a foreigner who commits a crime.

Article 36. Where the victim has suffered economic loss as a result of a criminal act, the criminal element, in addition to receiving criminal sanctions according to law, shall in accordance with the circumstances be sentenced to make compensation for the economic loss.

Where the criminal element bears responsibility for civil compensation and is also imposed a fine, if his property is not enough to pay the compensation and fine in full or if he has also been sentenced to confiscation of property, he shall first pay civil compensation to the victim.

Article 37. Where the circumstances of a person’s crime are minor and do not require sentencing for punishment, an exemption from criminal sanctions may be granted him, but he may, according to the different circumstances of each case, be reprimanded or ordered to make a statement of repentance or formal apology or make compensation for losses, or be subjected to administrative sanctions by the competent department.

Section 2. Control

Article 38. The term of control is not less than three months and not more than two years.

The judgment of control for a criminal element is executed by a public security organ.

Article 39. A criminal element who is sentenced to control must abide by the following rules during the term in which his control is being carried out:

(1) abide by laws and administrative regulations, submit himself to supervision;
(2) shall not exercise the rights to freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession, and of demonstration without the approval of the organ executing the control;
(3) report on his own activities pursuant to the rules of the organ executing the control;
(4) abide by the rules of the organ executing the control for meeting visitors;
(5) report and obtain approval from the organ executing the control for a change in residence or departure from the city or county.

A criminal element who is sentenced to control shall, while engaged in labor, receive equal pay for equal work.

Article 40. Upon the expiration of the term of the control, the organ executing the control shall announce the termination of control to the criminal element sentenced to control and to the masses concerned.

Article 41. The term of control is counted as commencing on the date the judgment begins to be executed; where custody has been employed before the judgment begins to be executed, the term is to be shortened by two days for each day spent in custody.

Section 3. Criminal Detention

Article 42. The term of criminal detention is not less a month and not more than six months.

Article 43. A criminal element sentenced to criminal detention is to have his sentence executed by the public security organ in the vicinity.

During the period of execution, a criminal element sentenced to criminal detention may go home for one or two days each month; consideration may be given according to the circumstances to granting compensation to those who participate in labor.

Article 44. The term of criminal detention is counted as commencing on the date the judgment begins to be executed; where custody has been employed before the judgment, the term is to be shortened by one day for each day spent in custody.

Section 4. Fixed-Term Imprisonment And Life Imprisonment

Article 45. Except as otherwise provided in Articles 50 and 69 of this Law, the term of fixed-term imprisonment is not less than six months and not more than fifteen years.

Article 46. A criminal element sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment or life imprisonment is to have his sentence executed in prison or in another organ executing the sentence; anyone with the ability to labor shall take
part in labor, receive education, and undergo reform.

Article 47. The term of fixed-term imprisonment is counted as commencing on the date the judgment begins to be executed; where custody has been employed before the judgment begins to be executed, the term is to be shortened by one day for each day spent in custody.

Section 5. The Death Penalty

Article 48. The death penalty is only to be applied to criminal elements who commit the most heinous crimes. In the case of a criminal element who should be sentenced to death, if immediate execution is not essential, a two-year suspension of execution may be announced at the same time the sentence of death is imposed.

Except for judgments made by the Supreme People’s Court according to law,all sentences of death shall be submitted to the Supreme People’s Court for approval. Sentences of death with suspension of execution may be decided or approved by a high people’s court.

Article 49. The death penalty is not to be applied to persons who have not reached the age of eighteen at the time the crime is committed or to women who are pregnant at the time of adjudication.

Article 50. If a person sentenced to death with a suspension of execution dose not intentionally commit a crime during the period of suspension, he is to be given a reduction of sentence to life imprisonment upon the expiration of the two-year period; if he demonstrates meritorious service,he is to be given a reduction of sentence to not less than fifteen years and not more than twenty years of fixed-term imprisonment upon the expiration of the two-year period; if there is verified evidence that he has intentionally committed a crime, the death penalty is be executed upon the approval of the Supreme People’s Court.

Article 51. The term for suspending execution of a sentence of death is counted as commencing on the date the judgment becomes final. The term of a sentence that is reduced from the death penalty with suspension of execution to fixed-term imprisonment is counted as commencing on the date the suspension of execution expires.

Section 6. Fines

Article 52. In imposing a fine, the amount of the fine shall be determined according to the circumstances of the crime.

Article 53. A fine is to be paid in a lump sum or in installments within the period specified in the judgment.
Upon the expiration of the period, one who has not paid is to be compelled to pay. Where the person sentenced is unable to pay the fine in full, the people’s court may collect whenever he is found in possession of executable property.

If a person truly has difficulties in paying because he has suffered irresistible calamity, consideration may be given according to the circumstances to granting him a reduction or exemption.

Section 7. Deprivation of Political Rights

Article 54. Deprivation of political rights is deprivation of the following rights:

(1) The right to elect and the right to be elected;
(2) the right to freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession, and of demonstration;
(3) the right to hold a position in state organs; and
(4) the right to hold a leading position in a state-owned company, enterprise, or institution or people’s organization.

Article 55. The term of deprivation of political rights is not less than one year and not more than five years, except as otherwise stipulated in Article 57 of this Law.
In situations where a person is sentenced to control and to deprivation of political rights as a supplementary punishment, the term of deprivation of political rights is to be the same as the term of control, and the punishments are to be executed at the same time.

Article 56. A criminal element endangering state security shall be sentenced to deprivation of political rights as a supplementary punishment;a criminal element guilty of murder, rape, arson, explosion, spreading poison, or robbery who seriously undermines social order may also be
sentenced to deprivation of political rights as a supplementary punishment.

Where deprivation of political rights is applied independently,stipulations in the Special Provisions of this Law shall be followed.

Article 57. A criminal element who is sentenced to death or to life imprisonment shall be deprived of political rights for life.

When the death penalty with a suspension of execution is reduced to fixed-term imprisonment, or life imprisonment is reduced to fixed-term imprisonment, the term of the supplementary punishment of deprivation of political rights shall be changed to not less than three years and not more
than ten years.

Article 58. The term of the supplementary punishment of deprivation of political rights is counted as commencing on the date that imprisonment or criminal detention ends or on the date that parole begins; the deprivation of political rights is naturally to be effective during the period in which the principal punishment is being executed.

A criminal element who is deprived of political rights shall abide by laws, administrative regulations, and relevant regulations on supervision and administration promulgated by public security departments under the State
Council; submit to supervision; and is forbidden from exercising rights stipulated in Article 54 of this Law.

Section 8. Confiscation of Property

Article 59. Confiscation of property is the confiscation of part or all of the property personally owned by the criminal element. Where all of the property personally owned by the criminal element is confiscated, living expenses shall be set aside for the criminal element himself and the dependents he supports.

When a sentence of confiscation of property is imposed, property that belongs to or should belong to family members of the criminal element may not be confiscated.

Article 60. Where it is necessary to use the confiscated property to repay legitimate debts incurred by the criminal element before the property was confiscated, the debts shall be paid at the request of the creditors.


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