China has imposed a minimum size of the bribe for the death penalty

The PRC government has set the minimal required amount of bribe or embezzlement of public funds for which may be sentenced to death, Xinhua reported, citing the joint decision of the Supreme people’s court and Supreme people’s Procuratorate.

Under the new rule, to sentence to death can be found guilty of taking bribes totaling 3 million yuan (about us $463 thousand). It is also noted that the death sentence will be imposed in “extreme cases” that had “very negative impact”.

In the presence of mitigating circumstances, a death sentence may be imposed conditionally. As Xinhua noted, in practice the courts often lean toward lenient treatment in sentencing to those who cooperated with the investigation.

In cases where the death penalty may be too harsh of a punishment, the convicts can be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole or commutation, according to the document, which refers to Xinhua. Examples of such cases the Agency does not.

This decision of the Supreme people’s court and Supreme people’s Procuratorate is the addition in the criminal law, amendments to which were made at the end of 2015. Last year’s amendments were adopted with the aim of making more flexible legislation regarding the cases of embezzlement of public funds and bribery. The legislation did not specify a specific amount of money, instead, was used a relative definition, such as “big money”, “huge amount of money” and “extremely huge amount of money”.

According to Monday’s decision, the minimum amount falling under the definition of “lot of money” is 30 thousand yuan, “the huge sum of money” is the sum from 200 thousand yuan, “extremely huge amount of money” 3 million yuan.

Also taken into account and the gravity of the crimes. For example, convicted of embezzlement of public funds and taking bribes amounting to less than 30 thousand yuan can also face criminal prosecution if their crimes are serious and affect many people.

If the official found out that a family member or a friend took the bribe but did not report it, he will be considered an accomplice to the crime.