In an unusual commentary on China's use of the death penalty, the People's Daily reported that several Chinese academics have called for a rethink over the application of capital punishment. Commenting in the paper, Qiu Xinglong, a law professor at Xiangtan University, said the government should abolish the death penalty if China is to become a "civilized society". Quoted by the daily, he said: "As long as the law recognizes that criminals are humans, the criminals are entitled to live and the state and the law should not deprive them of their right to life." Another academic, Liu Renwen of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the death penalty was hurting China's reputation. "The worst side effect of China's death penalty is that it is an obstacle to international and regional criminal judicial administration and cooperation," he said.
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