* This translated version is originated from Ministry of Justice and for reference only.
Article 55.- Statute of limitation for judgement execution
1. The statute of limitation for execution of a criminal judgement is the time limit prescribed by this Code upon the expiry of which the sentenced person shall not have to abide by the declared judgement.
2. The statute of limitation for execution of a criminal judgement is stipulated as follows:
a) Five years for cases of pecuniary penalty, non-custodial reform or imprisonment of three years or less;
b) Ten years for cases of imprisonment of between over three years and fifteen years;
c) Fifteen years for cases of imprisonment of between over fifteen years and thirty years.
3. The statute of limitation for execution of a criminal judgement shall be calculated from the date the judgement takes legal effect. If during the time limits prescribed in Clause 2 of this Article, the sentenced person again commits a new crime, the past duration shall not be counted and the statute of limitations shall be recalculated as from the date the new crime was committed.
If during the time limits provided for in Clause 2, this Article, the sentenced person deliberately escapes and is the subject of a search warrant, the duration of escape shall not be counted and the statute of limitation shall be recalculated as from the date such person surrenders him/herself or is arrested.
4. The application of statute of limitation to cases of life imprisonment or death sentence, after going through the period of fifteen years, shall be decided by chairman of the Supreme People’s Court at the request of the chairman of the Supreme People’s Procuracy. In cases where the application of the statute of limitation is not allowed, the death penalty shall be converted into the life imprisonment and the life imprisonment into thirty years of imprisonment.
Article 56.- Non-application of statute of limitations for execution of judgement
The statue of limitation for judgement execution shall not apply to crimes prescribed in Chapter XI and Chapter XXIV of this Code.
Article 57.- Exemption from penalty execution
1. For persons sentenced to non-custodial reform, termed imprisonment, who have not executed their judgements but have recorded great achievements or suffered from dangerous disease and if such persons are no longer dangerous to the society, the court may decide, at the proposal of the Procuracy director, to exempt the person from the execution of the entire penalty.
2. Sentenced persons shall be exempt from penalty execution when they are granted a special parole or general amnesty.
3. For persons sentenced to imprisonment for less serious crimes who have been entitled to a reprieve as provided for in Article 61 of this Code, if during the period of reprieve they have recorded great achievements, the court, at the proposal of the Procuracy director, may decide to exempt them from penalty execution.
4. For persons sentenced for less serious crimes who have been entitled to a temporary suspension as provided for in Article 62 of this Code, if during the period of temporary suspension they have recorded great achievements, the court, at the proposal of the Procuracy director, may decide to exempt them from the execution of the remainder of their penalties.
5. For persons who are penalized with a ban on residence or probation, if they have served half of their penalties term and re-habilitated themselves, the court, at the proposal of the administration of the localities where such persons serve their penalties, may decide to exempt them from the execution of the remaining half of their penalties.
Article 58.- Reduction of the declared penalties
1. For persons sentenced to non-custodial reform, if having served the penalty for a given period and made progress, the court, at the proposal of the agencies, organizations or local administration which have been assigned the responsibility to directly supervise and educate them, may decide to reduce the penalty term.
For persons sentenced to imprisonment, if having served the penalty for a given period and made progress, the courts, at the proposal of the imprisonment enforcement agencies, may decide to reduce the penalty term.
The time for which the penalty has been served in order to be considered for the first reduction shall represent one-third of the term for the non-custodial reform, for imprisonment of thirty years or under, and twelve years for life imprisonment.
2. For persons sentenced to pecuniary penalty who have served a part of their respective penalties but fell into a prolonged particularly difficult economic situation due to natural calamities, fires, accidents or ailments which render them unable to continue serving the remainder of the penalties, or who have recorded great achievements, the courts, at the proposal of the directors of the procuracies, may decide to exempt them from the execution of the remainder of their pecuniary penalties.
3. A person may be entitled to many reductions but have to execute half of the declared penalty. For persons sentenced to life imprisonment, the sentence shall be commuted for the first time to thirty years of imprisonment and despite many reductions, the actual duration of penalty served must be a minimum of twenty years.
4. For persons who have enjoyed partial reduction of their penalty but again committed new serious, very serious or particularly serious crimes, the courts shall consider the reduction for the first time after such persons have already served two-thirds of their common penalty or twenty years if it is life imprisonment.
Article 59.- Reduction of penalty term in special cases
For convicted persons who deserve additional leniency for reasons such as recording achievements, being too old and weak or suffering from dangerous diseases, the courts may consider the reduction at an earlier time or with higher levels compared with the time and levels prescribed in Article 58 of this Code.
Article 60.- Suspended sentence
1. When handing down a sentence of imprisonment, not exceeding three years the court shall, basing itself on the personal identification of the offender and extenuating circumstances, and if deeming it unnecessary to impose an imprisonment penalty, hand down a suspended sentence and set a period under test from one to five years.
2. During the test period, the court shall assign the offender to the agency or organization where such person works or the administration of the locality where he/she permanently resides for supervision and education. The convicted person’s family has the responsibility to coordinate with the agency, organization or local administration in supervising and educating such person.
3. The persons entitled to suspended sentence may be subject to additional penalties including fines, ban from holding certain posts, practicing certain occupations or doing certain jobs as prescribed in Article 30 and Article 36 of this Code.
4. For persons entitled to suspended sentence who have served half of the probation time and made progress, at the proposals of the agencies and organizations which have the responsibility to supervise and educate them, the court may decide to shorten the probation period.
5. For persons entitled to suspended sentence who commit new crimes during their probation period, the courts shall decide the compulsory execution of the penalty of the previous sentence and sum it up with the penalty of the new sentence as provided for in Article 51 of this Code.
Article 61.- Postponing the serving of imprisonment penalty
1. Persons sentenced to imprisonment may be entitled to a reprieve in the following cases where:
a) They suffer from serious illness, they shall be entitled to a reprieve until their recovery;
b) Women who are pregnant or nursing their children of under 36 months old, shall be entitled to a postponement of their penalty until their children reach the age of 36 months;
c) They are the only laborers in their respective families and if they serve the imprisonment penalty their families shall meet with special difficulties, they shall be entitled to the postponement for up to one year, except where they are sentenced for crimes of infringing upon the national security or other very serious or particularly serious crimes;
d) They are sentenced for less serious crimes and due to the requirements of official duties, they shall be entitled to the postponement for up to one year.
2. If during the period of reprieve the person entitled thereto commits a new crime, the court shall force such person to serve the previous penalty and add it to the penalty of the new judgment as prescribed in Article 51 of this Code.
Article 62.- Suspending the imprisonment penalty
1. Persons who are serving imprisonment penalties and fall into one of the cases prescribed in Clause 1, Article 61 of this Code, may be entitled to a temporary suspension of their imprisonment penalties.
2. The time of temporary suspension must not be calculated into the penalty serving term.