In 1998, Sun Xiaoguo was sentenced to death for the crimes of rape, forced insulting women, intentional injury, and provocation. Later, his stepfather and mother repeatedly commuted Sun Xiaoguo’s sentence in violation of regulations by paying bribes to many public officials until his sentence was released. In 2019, the public officials and important stakeholders involved in the case were seriously dealt with.
On December 7, the Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court held a public hearing in accordance with the law to try the case of the defendant Guo Wensi suspected of intentional injury. The Beijing Higher People’s Court of Beijing has made a ruling on December 3rd, revoking Guo Wensi’s nine commutation decisions on the grounds that Guo Wensi’s commutation of sentence was obtained by improper means and Guo Wensi’s decision on commutation of sentence was indeed wrong, and the execution of the original life imprisonment and deprivation of political rights was resumed.
The problem of illegal commutation of sentence, parole and temporary execution outside prison, especially the issue of “paper serving of sentence” without actually serving the sentence but obtaining a certificate of release after serving the sentence, has been of great concern to society. In the pilot work of the education and rectification of the national political and legal team, two pilot prisons in Hulan and Songbin, Heilongjiang Province and five provincial prisons in Yibin City, Sichuan Province have investigated the cases of “reduction, vacation and temporary” for 20 years, grasping many reductions of sentences, “stepping on the reductions”, and preparing false medical identifications, and investigated more than 80,000 cases. Indeed Recognize and rectify 307 illegal issues.
Why did you check it back for 20 years?
The time span of illegal “reduction, leave and temporary” cases is long.
It is understood that the bribery case of relevant personnel involved in the “Guo Wensi’s commutation case”, the bribery case of public officials and the case of commutation of sentence for personal malpractices will also be tried. Previously, the Beijing Discipline Inspection Commission Supervision Committee has released the investigation results. Many party members, cadres and public officials such as the Beijing prison system, the procuratorate, the court and other places have been severely punished and held accountable for providing help in Guo Wensi’s illegal commutation of sentence, and many people have been transferred to the procuratorial organs.
In addition to the “Guo Wensi’s commutation case”, due to Wang Yunhong’s seven-year sentence on paper, as of August this year, 65 public officials from 26 units, including the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Prison Administration, the Higher People’s Court of the Autonomous Region, the procuratorial organ, the public security organ, the People’s Hospital, have been disciplined by the Party and government. The core link of execution outside prison is medical identification, and it is an important part for doctors to issue corresponding medical identification documents. Judging from the exposed cases of “serving sentences on paper”, most of the problems of out-of-parole medical treatment have the right to money transactions and other behaviors, and doctors, prison guards, etc. assist in the completion.
Due to the Sun Xiaoguo case, after the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection gave party discipline to Zhao Shijie, the former secretary and president of the Yunnan Provincial Higher People’s Court, the Yunnan Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection gave corresponding party discipline to the five provincial management cadres involved in the case, and 19 public officials and important related persons were also publicly sentenced in December last year.
The investigation and punishment of these illegal “reduction, fake and temporary” cases are almost all “pulling out the radish and bringing out the mud”, and the investigation and punishment of a string of cases, and various “relationship networks” and “umbrella” have been revealed one by one.
The application of commutation of sentence, parole, temporary execution outside prison and other systems is to implement the criminal policy of combining leniency and severity and maximize the function of punishment. Moreover, the implementation of these systems has strict legal procedures. For example, according to the relevant laws of China, in general, if the death penalty is sentenced to suspended execution, the actual sentence shall not be less than 15 years after one or several commutations of sentence; if sentenced to life imprisonment, the actual term of imprisonment shall not be less than 13 years.
In practice, the longer the sentence of some prisoners, the stronger the willingness to “reduce, leave and temporary”, which is also one of the reasons why the “reduce, leave and temporary” system is easy to be used, and even become a hotbed of power and money trading. From Guo Wensi’s release after nine illegal commutations of sentence, Sun Xiaoguo’s release from prison after being sentenced to prison after being sentenced to 15 years of “commuting on paper” after Batumenghe in Inner Mongolia, and Wang Yunhong’s “commutation of sentence on paper” for 7 years, it has exposed many problems, including corruption, caused by illegal “reduction, vacation and temporary”. Among them, a prominent feature is that the disciplinary violations behind them are generally long-term.
On the one hand, the phenomena of “redemption of life with power” and “exiting money out of prison” seriously affect judicial public trust. On the other hand, individual personnel such as Sun Xiaoguo in Yunnan Province and Ren Aijun in Shanxi continued to carry out illegal and criminal activities after illegally commuted their sentences and released from prison, seriously damaging the order of economic and social life, which the masses are strongly dissatisfied with this. In the face of complex situations such as long time span, large number of people involved in the case, and wide range of fields involved, “paper serving sentences” has become the difficulty and focus of governance.
From July to November this year, the Central Political and Legal Commission selected five municipal-level and four counties (cities, districts) relevant political and legal units, and two prisons as pilot units to carry out the national political and legal team education and rectification pilot, 35 pilot units and 16,000 police officers participated in the education and rectification.
After in-depth analysis of the cases of discipline and law violations by political and legal teams in recent years, especially the cases of political and legal cadres and police acting as “umbrellas” exposed in the special struggle against organized crime and evil, this educational rectification pilot focuses on the “old difficulties” that the masses reflect strongly and seriously affect the credibility of law enforcement and justice, and a number of years of people who have not solved or have not been solved. The “hard bone” that can be effectively solved refers to the “six persistent diseases”: violation of the “three regulations” for preventing interference in the judiciary; illegal business operation of illegal business; illegal participation in loan; illegal participation in business activities by spouses, children and their spouses; illegal commutation of sentence, parole, temporary execution outside prison; failure to file, failure to investigate cases, guilt Don’t pay attention.
How to check for 20 years
“Full skylight” investigation, multi-department joint investigation, key verification
In early December, the indictment of Zhou Zhongping, a policeman in charge of Sun Xiaoguo, was exposed for three years in prison while serving his sentence.
This indictment from the People’s Procuratorate of Jiyuan County, Yunnan Province shows that in 1999, Sun Xiaoguo was handed over to Yunnan First Prison for execution. In 2008, in order to reduce Sun Xiaoguo’s sentence and mother, Sun Xiaoguo’s stepfather and mother attempted to obtain a reduction of his sentence with Sun Xiaoguo’s invention declaration of major meritorious service. Zhou Zhongping passed articles and issued false certificates for Sun Xiaoguo’s false invention patent, helping Sun Xiaoguo make great contributions by using the false patent of anti-theft manhole cover. During Sun Xiaoguo’s serving of his sentence and after his release after serving his sentence, Zhou Zhongping received gifts and invitations many times, of which the total gift money received was 6,000 yuan.
As the last link of criminal justice activities, the execution of punishment is related to the realization of criminal justice functions and the political security of the country and social harmony and stability.” Reduction, leave and temporary “is an important penalty execution system in China, and also a key link in judicial practice that is easy to breed corruption and produce law enforcement and judicial injustice.
The prison in the execution link is located in the “high wall”, relatively closed and independent, which is the focus of reverse investigation and supervision. During the five-station guidance group of the national political and legal team education rectification pilot, a special on-duty telephone and post office box were set up to receive letters and calls reflecting relevant issues during the resident guidance of the two pilot prisons in Hulan and Songbin.
Two prisons have carried out “full skylight” investigation of “reduction, vacation and temporary” cases since 2000. Focus on issues such as “competing sentence on paper”, “commuting meritorious service” and “stepping on the commutation of sentence” with high social attention, and carry out joint investigations with procuratorial organs; focus on the verification of criminal files and problems prone to merit, scoring assessment and disease identification materials; contact the health and community correction department and the out of bail. Criminals who seek medical treatment meet one by one, and all of them review their condition by selecting another hospital and doctor, and find clues to the problem.
The Discipline Inspection and Monitoring Group of the Heilongjiang Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision in the Provincial Department of Justice gives full play to the supervision function of the stationing and carries out political supervision of the pilot work of education and rectification in the two pilot prisons stationed in the department. We will insist on moving forward the supervision port, formulate a work plan wallchart to supervise the war, and set up a special supervision working group to settle in two pilot prisons to carry out supervision and discipline enforcement accountability. Through the supervision of the three links of learning and education, checking and correcting problems, and rectifying and summarizing the whole process, we can ensure that pressure transmission is in place, responsibilities are in place, and problems are investigated and put in place.
The discipline inspection and monitoring group sent backbone forces to the two pilot prisons to deal with cases, focusing on efforts, adhering to the policy of “self-inspection and leniency, strict investigation”, taking “self-inspection and self-correction, organizing investigation and punishment, and special rectification” as the starting point, and working with the resident department to eliminate the black sheep of the group.
The Discipline Inspection and Monitoring Group of the Sichuan Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision in the Provincial Department of Justice and the Prison Administration urged the Provincial Department of Justice to implement the requirements of the national political and legal team education and rectification pilot work, and transferred 460 cadres to form 28 special working groups to carry out reverse investigations of “reduction, fake and temporary” cases in five prisons in Yibin District. At present, relevant cases have been inspected 4. 60,000 pieces.
Keep an eye on the rectification and implementation of loopholes in the implementation of penalty changes
On November 27, the summary meeting of the pilot work of the education and rectification of the political and legal teams in Harbin, Hulan District, Hulan Prison and Songbin Prison was held to further consolidate the achievements of the education and rectification of the political and legal teams and re-deploy the existing problems. Liu Zhiqiang, deputy director of the National Political and Legal Team Education and Rectification Pilot Office and Vice Minister of the Ministry of Justice, pointed out that we should persistently do a good job in the implementation of the “second half of the article” and constantly consolidate and expand the results of the pilot work.
The Heilongjiang Provincial Department of Justice, together with relevant departments, drafted opinions to clarify that the “reduction, leave and temporary” cases should grasp the substantive conditions, adhere to strictly grasp the definition standards of repentance, meritorious service and major meritorious service, strictly grasp important criminals, strictly grasp the starting time, interval time and the extent of the submission of commutation of sentence, and strictly grasp the “Out-parole medical treatment” Scope of Serious Diseases and applicable conditions; in performing legal procedures, it must be decided by a court with jurisdiction according to law, and must study and submit, solicit opinions of the People’s Procuratorate, and publicize it step by step by step; in terms of checking file materials, score assessment materials, reward materials, reform activist materials, discipline violations, etc. Penalty materials, disability identification materials, and medical condition identification materials outside bail must be checked to prevent the occurrence of illegal “reduction, leave and temporary” problems.
Harbin Intermediate People’s Court has improved the procedural provisions for hearing meritorious service cases, the discretionary quantitative standards for commutation of sentences, and the provisions for the examination of the appraisal opinions of cases temporarily given outside prison. At the same time, we will screen key enforcement cases case by case, and find and solve 299 implementation problems in 25 categories, such as the final cost of violations and the untimely issuance of case funds.
The supervision committee of the Commission for Discipline Inspection, organization, publicity, political and legal committees and other departments in each pilot area implement collaborative responsibilities, and establish collaborative mechanisms such as work consultation, clue transfer, case investigation and punishment, etc., so as to form a joint work force.
After a large-scale investigation of “reduction, leave and temporary” cases in Hulan Prison and Songbin Prison in the past 20 years, some illegal commutation cases have been found. The person in charge of the Penal Enforcement Section of Hulan Prison said that the investigation also found that there were irregularities in the file such as false basis of rewards and punishment materials and incorrect form filling in the commutation file.
The Discipline Inspection and Monitoring Group of the Heilongjiang Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision in the Provincial Department of Justice deeply studied and judged the comprehensive situation of important whistle-blower matters and clues in the areas of problem concentration in the pilot prison, and timely provided guidance to the Provincial Department of Justice, the Prison Administration Bureau and the Party Committee of the Pilot Prison. Urge Hulan Prison to formulate the “Duties of Reporting Commutation of Sentences and Parole in Hulan Prison” and “Duties of Hulan Prison for Temporary Implementation of Work Outside Prison” to accurately locate the responsibilities and powers of each position, every responsible person and every work procedure. The two pilot prisons revised and improved 54 systems, 33 new customizations, and abolished 6 systems.
Facing the actual situation of “many points, line length and wide scope” of Sichuan judicial administration system and “many supervision units, many supervision objects, many supervision funds, many supervision fields, and heavy work tasks” of the discipline inspection and monitoring team, He Aichuan, the head of the Discipline Inspection and Monitoring Group of the Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision Commission in the Provincial Department of Justice, told reporters that focusing on supervision and law enforcement, the sentence of criminals is commuted. Supervision of law enforcement links such as parole, medical treatment on bail, family visit after leaving prison. In the form of “prison self-inspection + random inspection team inspection”, a special supervision and inspection of 483 family visits and 198 family visits from prison leave prison in prison in the province since 2018 has been carried out. Four problems have been found and the supervision of the minister. The unit is corrected.
Block regulatory loopholes
Accelerating the reform of the supervision system of judicial restriction and supervision of law enforcement
According to relevant laws and regulations, the current subjects of penal enforcement in China are people’s courts, public security organs (detention centers), judicial administrative organs (prisons, community correctional institutions), etc. The execution activities of penalty changes involve many links such as submission, trial, ruling, enforcement, etc. Generally, the prison puts forward a proposal for commutation of sentence and parole, and submits it to the people’s court for trial and ruling. The People’s Procuratorate is responsible for legal supervision throughout the whole process. In terms of supervision and restriction mechanism, various departments are both divided into labor and mutually restricted.
On August 26, a video conference on comprehensively deepening reform and promoting the field of politics and law was held to study and deploy and accelerate the reform and construction of the law enforcement judicial restriction supervision system, and comprehensively improve the credibility of law enforcement and justice. In terms of improving the supervision system and mechanism between political and legal departments, we should improve the synchronous supervision system for the implementation of penalty changes, expand the depth of roving inspection in prisons, detention centers and other places, and comprehensively promote cross-regional cross-roving inspection. In terms of improving the internal restriction and supervision mechanism of various political and legal systems, we will comprehensively strengthen the supervision and management of key areas and key links such as prisons, drug rehabilitation, community correction, forensics, notarization, etc. At the same time, we will optimize the national information-handing platform for commutation of sentence and parole, promote the online circulation of the whole process of commutation and parole cases, improve the responsibility system for handling cases of commutation of sentence, parole and temporary execution outside prison, and improve the punishment and disciplinary rules for judicial appraisal and notarization of illegal acts.
Standardizing prison law enforcement is also one of the contents of the fourth round of inspection and rectification of the 19th Central Committee of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice deeply analyzed the problems exposed in the temporary execution of commutation of sentence parole outside prison and triad-related cases, identified weak links, drawn inferences from each other, promoted reform with the case, established regulations and effectively eliminated hidden risks in prison law enforcement, integrity and other aspects; studied and formulated guidance, improved the penal enforcement system, and promoted the integration of penal enforcement; Provisions have been issued to strictly standardize the handling of cases of commutation of sentence and parole temporarily outside prison in accordance with the law, and focus on solving the prominent problems of using power for personal gain and dereliction of duty and dereliction of duty. We will revise and improve the assessment and evaluation system for criminals, improve the content, standards and methods of scoring assessment, objectively judge the performance of criminal reform, and standardize commutation of sentence and parole from the source.
It is reported that since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, courts across the country have handled 3.55 million cases of commutation of sentence, 180,000 cases of parole and 22,000 cases of temporary execution outside prison. At the same time, the substantive review of cases has been strengthened. Since 2015, 24,000 cases have been ruled that the sentence shall not commuted or parole shall be reduced. At a press conference in early June this year, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate reported on the legal supervision of the implementation of the change of punishment. Since 2018, the procuratorial organs across the country have put forward procuratorial opinions and issued 86,000 recommendations to correct violations and procuratorial recommendations on the activities of “reduce, take, take and temporarily” the implementation of the proposal and decide (adjudication), which has been adopted. 80,000 cases; 52 cases of commutation of sentence, parole and temporary execution outside prison for private fraud were investigated and dealt with. On December 1, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate held an expanded party group meeting to supervise 46 key procuratorial work, and it was clear that it would promote the solution of persistent diseases in the execution of “paper serving sentences” and other criminal activities through continuous promotion of cross-regional cross-roving inspections.