Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Mark Dallas




China, death penalty, criminal law, reform


In the past century, China has abandoned its feudal system, created a republic, ended the republic for a communist socialist society, closed its markets and then opened them; now, China is an established world power, has a strong economic base, and is often perceived as having an iron fist regarding domestic crime and punishment. Modern day China’s criminal law, in the context of capital punishment, has undergone many drastic transformations in the past sixty years. The death penalty has been so differently implemented in modern China that within a span of twenty years, the usage of the death penalty and other criminal procedures has shifted in Chinese perspective from one end of the spectrum to the other. Comparing different aspects within the Mao era and the reform era can explain how this shift of death penalty implementation in China has changed.