Bribery and corruption is not an unfamiliar practice in Chinese politics. But how much can one get away with before being sentenced to the chopping block?
That magic number happens to be $463,000, or about 3 million yuan, according to a statement released on April 18 by Chinese judicial authorities. Anyone who embezzles or accepts bribes of that amount or greater will be met with the death penalty.
According to Time, the exception for the ruling includes serious cases that have “extremely vile impact.” For example, if Chinese officials embezzle funds for disaster relief then they will be met with the death penalty even if their bribes were under the determined amount.
On a positive note, those who are convicted have the opportunity to lessen their sentence. “Mitigating factors” such as cooperating with authorities can possibly lead to a two-year suspended death sentence or forgiveness of execution.
Before the new criteria, capital punishment on the degrees of bribery and embezzlement were vague. China is known to execute more people per year than any other country with 46 listed crimes that qualify for the death penalty. In 2015, China lessened the severity in capital punishment of crimes that include counterfeiting money and smuggling weapons.