University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review


Ryan Florio


The governments of both the United States and China maintain the death penalty as a means of punishing its most dangerous criminals, but with an astounding 68 capital offenses, China perennially remains the world leader in executions. This article examines the theory of proportionality of criminal punishment and how it relates to the respective death penalty policies in the United States and China. A comparative analysis will reveal two extremely different societies with two different perspectives on proportionality. one that recognizes and protects fundamental freedoms and another that places emphasis on collective societal welfare over individual rights. The article will describe how constitutional and legislative provisions, specific historical periods, human rights, and the judicial system interact to shape the policies that the United States and China practice today.