[NetBehaviour] Justice at the click of a mouse in China.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Fri Sep 15 15:14:18 CEST 2006

Justice at the click of a mouse in China.

A court in China has used a software program to help decide prison 
sentences in more than 1,500 criminal cases, a Hong Kong newspaper said 
on Wednesday.

The software, tested for two years in a court in Zibo, a city in the 
eastern coastal province of Shandong, covered about 100 different 
crimes, including robbery, rape, murder and state security offenses, the 
South China Morning Post said, citing the software's developer, Qin Ye.

"The software is aimed at ensuring standardized decisions on prison 
terms. Our programs set standard terms for any subtle distinctions in 
different cases of the same crime," Qin was quoted as saying.

A Beijing-based software company had worked with the Zichuan District 
Court in Zibo since 2003 to develop the program and input mainland 
criminal law, the paper said.

Judges enter details of a case and the system produces a sentence, the 
paper said.

"The software can avoid abuse of discretionary power of judges as a 
result of corruption or insufficient training," the paper quoted Zichuan 
District Court chief judge, Wang Hongmei, as saying.


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