Power, Corruption and the Legal Process in China

Hong Lu, University of Nevada - Las Vegas
Elaine Gunnison, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This paper examines three major types of corruption-related white-collar crimes in China: graft, bribe-taking and embezzlement. We discuss the nature and characteristics of these offenses, the relevant laws, and the criminal justice responses to these crimes. An analysis of 182 court cases involving these types of offenses, adjudicated between 1986-1999, suggests that these cases have distinctive offender and offense characteristics, especially in offenders' status, co-offending pattern, offense severity, and legal decisions. A further analysis on the determinants of legal decisions reveals that, while offense severity has consistently significant effects on pretrial detention and sentence decisions, offenders' status affects pretrial detention decisions, but not sentence length. The paper closes with discussions of policy implications.

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Updated 05/20/2006