China holds more executions yearly than any other country—but this week, state media announced China will be more forgiving, the New York Times reports. Only “an extremely small number” should be executed, said the vice president of the Supreme People’s Court. In 2008, Amnesty International claims, China executed 1,718 people, or 72% of the total worldwide, the BBC adds.

Courts will likely be urged to narrow the range of offenses that could draw a death sentence; currently, more than 60 crimes, including tax evasion and embezzlement, are punishable by death in China. “Judicial departments should use the least number of death sentences as possible, and death penalties should not be given to those having a reason for not being executed,” the court official added.

Crime & Courts