终身监禁 (zhongshen jianjin): Life imprisonment
A new amendment to the Criminal Law that comes into effect on Nov 1 has stipulated that those bribe takers or corrupt officials who serve unfixed terms of imprisonment after receiving a death sentence with a two-year reprieve cannot have their sentences commuted or be released on parole.
According to law, criminals that receive a death sentence with a two-year reprieve will serve an unlimited term of imprisonment instead of being executed if they do not intentionally commit crime in the two years. However, corrupt officials receiving such a sentence have often subverted them through connections and bribes, which has meant the punishments for their crimes has not been life imprisonment as stipulated.
Not using the death penalty is an international trend and China is gradually following it. Such a judicial ideal is not only applicable to corruption and bribe-taking criminals, but also other criminals. However, in recent years seriously corrupt or bribe-taking officials that have managed to use the loopholes in the punishment system to avoid a life in prison as the courts have decreed has undermined the law and provoked public anger.
The new amendment improves the sentencing system to crack down on those seeking to subvert justice and will be conducive to enforcing the anti-corruption campaign.