Capital punishment in Hong Kong was formally abolished on 23 April 1993 by virtue of the Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance 1993. 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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3][4] 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.[3]

Following Wong's execution, the death penalty was suspended.[5] 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.[6] In April 1993, capital punishment was officially abolished in Hong Kong.[7] 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[8] despite that capital punishment is still regularly carried out in Mainland China.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Victoria Prison Decommissioning Open Day". The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.
  2. ^ Cribb, Tim (23 March 2004). "Demise of the death penalty". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 14 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b "香港最後的死囚" (in Chinese). i-CABLE News Channel. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  4. ^ "CWho would receive the Death Penalty or Life Imprisonment?". hkmemory.org. Archived from the original on 25 January 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  5. ^ "A Chronology of CSD's Development and Penal Measures of Hong Kong". Hong Kong Correctional Services. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  6. ^ "WORLD FACTBOOK OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS - HONG KONG by Ian Dobinson". Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice. Archived from the original on 3 May 2006.
  7. ^ "Victoria Prison Decommissioning Open Day". The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.
  8. ^ "Basic Law in Full Text". The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.