This paper examines a recent debate at the highest level of China's politicolegal leadership on the application of the death penalty. The debate centers around the interpretation of a new criminal justice policy called ““balancing leniency and severity”” and around limiting the death penalty to all but the most egregious criminals.
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Errata: In the September/October 2016 issue (volume 56 number 5, pages 836 and 849), there was a technical printing error in Figures 1b and 2 of the article by Ajay Raina that resulted in a loss of data on the graphs. This online article contains the restored figures in their original, correct state. The error is regretted.