Capital punishment in Hong Kong was formally abolished on 23 April 1993 by virtue of the Crimes (Amendment) (No. 3) Ordinance. Before then, capital punishment was the usual sentence given since the establishment of the Crown Colony of Hong Kong for offences such as murder, kidnapping ending in death, and piracy.
The last execution in Hong Kong was carried out on 16 November 1966 when Wong Kai-Kei (Chinese: 黃啟基), age 25, was hanged at Stanley Prison. Wong was a Chinese-Vietnamese who, on 3 July 1966, was burglarizing the Chung Keen Company building in Sham Shui Po when he was spotted by security guard Chan Fat-Sang (Chinese: 陳佛生). Wong killed Chan and injured a woman in the subsequent fight, and was found guilty of murder and sentenced to execution by hanging. After his conviction, Wong attempted to appeal the sentence, claiming that he had confessed under duress, and also wrote to the Governor of Hong Kong David Trench seeking clemency. Reform Club chairman Brook Bernacchi published an open letter against the sentencing, claiming that Hong Kong, as a British colony, should not retain the death penalty when Great Britain had abolished it a year ago in 1965.
Following Wong's execution, the death penalty was suspended. The Governor of Hong Kong would as a matter of course commute the sentences of those convicted under the death penalty to life imprisonment under the Royal prerogative of mercy. In April 1993, capital punishment was officially abolished in Hong Kong. Since then, life imprisonment has been the most severe punishment in Hong Kong.
Under the principle of independence of legal system in Hong Kong Basic Law, Hong Kong has continued its repudiation of capital punishment after its handover to the People's Republic of China despite that capital punishment is still regularly carried out in Mainland China.