Court rules out confession through torture

Updated: 2013-11-21 13:59


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BEIJING - Using torture to extract confessions must be eliminated, China's Supreme People's Court said on Thursday.

"Inquisition by torture used to extract a confession, as well as the use of cold, hunger, drying, scorching, fatigue and other illegal methods to obtain confessions from the accused must  be eliminated," the Supreme Court said in a statement posted on its official microblog account.

The Supreme People's Court also introduced more stringent rules for death penalty cases, saying adequate evidence must be furnished and that only experienced judges should handle capital punishment trials.

China's government said last week it would work to reduce the number of crimes subject to the death penalty.

The Supreme People's Court comments were part of a statement on weeding out false charges in legal cases and follows a landmark package of reforms last week, including abolishing forced labour camps.

The Supreme People's Court also emphasized that courts much not yield to pressure from the media or "unreasonable petitioning by litigants." Public outrage has sometimes swayed verdicts in high profile cases.

The court released a paper late last month calling for an end to corruption in courts and for officials to stop interfering in decisions.