Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Thursday asked courts at various levels to strictly observe China's policy of strictly controlling and prudently applying the death penalty.
Courts should make sure the death penalty is only administered for an extremely small number of convicted criminals of extremely severe offenses, said the SPC at a work conference on criminal justice.
The SPC has the duty to review all death penalty decisions handed out by lower courts.
In handling drug-related cases, both strict punishment and targeted crackdowns should be continued, according to the SPC.
Criminal trials should not be indifferent to public opinion, nor should they be dictated by public opinion, according to the SPC, which also said criminal judgments should ensure justice is delivered in each case.