With China expected to begin review of its first national domestic abuse law in August, various parties, including the public, have begun to weigh in on how the law should handle the perpetrators and victims of domestic violence.

China’s Supreme Court and Procuratorate has recommended that courts should no longer seek the death penalty in cases of domestic violence where men murder their wives in self-defense, Beijing Today reported Thursday.

The court's recommendation came as a reaction to a similar policy enacted in 2014 that removed capital punishment as a possible sentence in cases where wives had killed their husbands after prolonged abuse.

Allowing only women to be exempt from the death penalty was seen as discriminatory, the story stated.

Should the Supreme Court's recommendations be passed, assailants both male and female will be charged with “excessive defense” instead of murder.

The sentencing guidelines are also the result of what is seen as a disparity between the punishment of domestic violence perpetrators.

Two examples reported by Women of China illustrate this situation: Dong Shanshan was beaten to death by her husband after less than a year of marriage. He was sentenced to six years and six months in prison. Li Yan killed her husband after years of abuse and several appeals to the police for assistance. She was sentenced to death, which was upheld on appeal, but finally commuted to an as-yet undefined, non-capital sentence by the Supreme Court.

Continue reading at beijing-kids.com, where this article originally appeared.

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