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China Threatens Death Penalty for Serious Polluters

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China has stepped up its efforts to reduce pollution in the country, but no one expected them to take it as far as threatening the death penalty to those who do not abide by the rules. 

Last month, the country admitted that cancer villages exist in China. They outlined guidelines to what companies and others need to do to curb pollution and reduce the affects it has on local communities.

But now, they are threatening the death penalty on anyone who produces serious pollution. 

Officials said they were implementing new, stricter punishments to tighten "lax and superficial" enforcement of the environmental protection laws. 

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"In the most serious cases the death penalty could be handed down," they said. 

While the country knows clamping down on pollution may affect their economic growth, it seems to be agreed upon across China that they need to do something about the reduced quality of life it produces. 

On top of threatening the death penalty for serious polluters, they have also lowered the threshold at which pollution is considered serious. That means more people who previously weren't "serious" polluters could become them, and could face severe punishment. 

"With more precise criteria for convictions and sentencing, the judicial explanation provides a powerful legal weapon for law enforcement, which is expected to facilitate the work of judges and tighten punishments for polluters," Xinhua news agency said. 

"All force should be mobilized to uncover law-breaking clues of environmental pollution in a timely way."

Groups for human rights say China executes thousand of people a year, more than all other countries combined. They often use the death penalty for corruption and economic crimes.

Sources: Inquisitr, Reuters