China to reduce number of executions

China, often criticized for its liberal use of the death penalty, will reduce the number of criminal executions it carries out, a top official said. “As it is impossible for the country to abolish capital punishment under current realities and social security conditions, it is an important effort to strictly control the application of the penalty by judicial organs,” Zhang Jun, vice president of the Supreme People’s Court, said in an interview with Legal Daily, the state-run China Daily reported. “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,” Zhang said.