China: February 9, 2005


In the last two months, Chinese media announced the execution of some 650 people. Nearly all of the dead were criminals, a few were corrupt officials. The majority of the executions on the planet take place in China, which only has 16 percent of the world's population. To the Chinese, the death penalty is a sign the government is serious about dealing with some problem, as getting put in prison is something that can be reversed after a few years, especially with a well placed bribe. That doesn't work if you get a bullet in the back of the head (the most common form of execution). The execution of corrupt officials is particularly popular, although rare. The military is known to benefit from these executions, taking the organs of dead prisoners for use in transplants at military hospitals. The military has its own hospital system, which treats non-military personnel for a fee. Transplants are particularly lucrative, especially when they involve organs that are hard to get.


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