Guideline clarifies leniency for suspects admitting guilt, accepting punishments

(Xinhua)| Updated: 2019-10-25

BEIJING - China on Thursday released a guideline to clarify the use of a mechanism under which criminal suspects may receive lenient penalties if they admit their guilt and accept punishments.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), together with the Supreme People's Court, ministries of Public Security, State Security, and Justice, issued the guideline which contain stipulations regarding the basic rules of and prerequisites for the use of the mechanism as well as the trial and protection of suspects' interests in such cases.

The mechanism can encourage suspects and defendants to truthfully confess the crimes they committed and improve litigation efficiency, said Chen Guoqing, an official with the SPP at a press conference Thursday.

Chen added nearly 50 percent of cases involving the use of the mechanism were applied to summary procedures, and 35.6 percent such cases were applied to quick-track sentencing procedures between January and September.

Suspects in 36.6 percent of such cases received imprisonment with probation from January to September, and 9.1 percent of such cases were exempted from prosecution, he said.

The guideline also calls for measures to ensure suspects' and defendants' access to efficient legal aid services and allow legal aid institutions to dispatch lawyers to people's courts and procuratorates as well as detention centers.

The legal aid stations have been expanded to all detention centers and courts by 2018, and lawyers participated in more than 163,000 cases involving the use of the mechanism, said Sun Chunying, an official with the Ministry of Justice at the press conference.