Every Saturday night in China, millions gather around their televisions to watch Interviews Before Execution, an extraordinary talk show which interviews prisoners on death row.
Capital punishment in the People’s Republic of China is usually administered to offenders of serious and violent crimes, such as aggravated murder, but China retains in law a number of nonviolent capital offenses such as drug trafficking. The People’s Republic of China executes the highest number of people annually. Watchdog groups believe that actual execution numbers greatly exceed officially recorded executions; in 2008, 2009, and 2010, the Dui Hua Foundation estimated that 5,000 people were executed each year in China – far more than all other nations combined. However, the estimated number of executions fell to 2,400 in 2013. The precise number of executions is regarded as a state secret. Since the formation of the People’s Republic of China in the 1940s, there have also been foreigners executed in China, including people from Western nations. All classes of society in China have been executed, there have been no exceptions. Recently, a billionaire in China was executed for running a criminal gang.