Hu Xiao, an executioner is China, has stated that his job is usually not very complicated and also that all the people who got it, deserved it for their crimes.

“In fact, it’s not as complicated as outsiders think. We all use rifles, stand about four meters from the condemned prisoner with a barrel one meter-long, take aim, press the trigger, and that’s that,” Hu told the Beijing Evening News newspaper.

At the time of execution, the criminals kneel on the ground, but this former soldier actually stood up and ran forward. The result was a moving target that was taken down, said Hu. These people all deserved what they got for their crimes, he added.

One subject that has been raised periodically is whether China is justified in its policy of refusing the public’s right to know how many people it puts to death. Reported executions in China have dropped by 35% over the last year, but this reveals nothing certain about the true number, which is believed to be well into the thousands. The true number is a closely guarded state secret. Human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have said it executes more prisoners than any other country.

It is reported that in China there are 55 criminal offences that are eligible for the death penalty. Many of these offences are non-violent and economic criminal offences. There have been many criminal cases in China, those involving corrupt officials sentenced to death. For instance, in July 2011, Zhang Chunjiang, the former vice chairman of China Mobile was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for accepting bribes. Also reported this year were the executions for corruption of the former vice mayors of Hangzhou and Suzhou.

Though there are relatively few intellectuals in China who favor completely abolishing the death penalty, judicial reform advocates say there is growing support for reducing the number of death penalty sentences that courts hand out. In China, microblogs and online forums have become a kind of megaphone for critics.