Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

On Chinese law

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 22, 2010

Here are excerpts from my Kindle, the book is “The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)” and written 100 years ago.

“Mention is made in the code of the so-called “lingering death,” according to which first one arm is chopped off, then the other; the two legs follow in the same way; two slits are made on the breast, and the heart is torn out; decapitation finishes the proceedings.
The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)
– Highlight Loc. 307-8 |

The ordinary Chinaman is not a fiend; he does not gloat in his peaceful moments, when not under the influence of extreme excitement, over bloodshed and cruelty.
The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)
– Highlight Loc. 308-14 |

The generally lenient spirit in which the Penal Code of China was conceived is either widely unknown, or very often ignored. For instance, during the excessive summer heats certain punishments are mitigated, and others remitted altogether. Prompt surrender and acknowledgment of an offence, before it is otherwise discovered, entitles the offender, with some exceptions, to a full and free pardon; as also does restitution of stolen property to its owner by a repentant thief; while a criminal guilty of two or more offences can be punished only to the extent of the principal charge. Neither are the near relatives, nor even the servants, of a guilty man, punishable for concealing his crime and assisting him to escape. Immense allowances are made for the weakness of human nature, in all of which may be detected the tempering doctrines of the great Sage.

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