China Considers Dropping Death Penalty for 13 Offenses

China says its top legislature is considering dropping the death penalty for 13 "economy-related, non-violent" crimes.

The official Xinhua news agency said Monday that if passed, the latest amendment to China's Criminal Law would cut the number of crimes that carry the death penalty from 68 to 55.

Xinhua said the country's longest prison sentence would be extended from 20 to 25 years and probation would be more strictly controlled, especially for repeat offenders, top crime figures and violent criminals.

The report said the amendment also emphasizes the protection of people's livelihood. Driving drunk, malicious default of wages and illegal organ trade are all listed as independent charges in the amendment.

A draft law usually receives three reviews at the top legislature -- the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and ChinaDaily