In an effort to curb deaths caused by the horrible air pollution throughout China, the Chinese government just issued a new judicial interpretation that will allow courts to issue harsher punishments for environmental crimes, and reports coming out of Chinese news agencies is that THE DEATH PENALTY could be handed down for the most serious offenses against the environment.
Death Penalty for Polluters
A total of 14 environmental crimes have been listed under the Chinese courts’ new interpretation of existing laws. “The Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate jointly issued the document to clarify the criteria for convictions for environmental crimes,” court spokesman Sun Jungong told South China Morning Post reports. “The tightened rules were expected to help environment officials obtain harsher penalties for offenders … (and) dumping radioactive substances into sources of drinking water and nature reserves, and incidents that poison more than 30 people or force more than 5,000 people to be evacuated, will be considered environmental pollution crimes for the first time.”
Previously, prosecutors were required to show that a given act of pollution, specifically, had led to a human death in order to be considered in breach of Chinese environmental law. Under the new interpretation, it is only necessary for prosecutors to show that a given act of pollution has caused (or is known to cause) “serious injury”.
What do I think about all this? I’m glad you asked … what I think is: Hot damn!
It looks like at least one major government is finally starting to take climate change seriously and issue proper punishments to individuals and corporations who put the health and well-being of their fellow human beings in jeopardy in the name of corporate greed, general apathy, or fitting in with a crowd of cousin-f***ing closet-cases (all you guys with lifted pickups and 6″ plumbing pipe fitted to your diesel exhaust know what you are).
Here’s hoping China’s drastic efforts and threats to issue the death penalty make a difference over there … and, maybe, that it spreads over here. Like, to BP. F*** those guys.