On December 10, People’s Daily carried an article titled, "What Zhou Yongkang Did Is No Different from a ‘Traitor.’" The article mentioned a few names in the history of the Chinese Communist Party: two early leaders in the 1930’s during the civil war with the Nationalist Party and three high ranking military officials after 1949. All of the five ended in the death penalty. The Nationalists killed the early leaders; the three later officials received death sentences.
The article contrasts with a 2013 Xinhua article, months after Bo Xilai was ousted, "Chen Yun was against the death penalty for Jiang Qing: the inner Party struggle should not have bloodshed." This article hinted that there would be no death penalty for Bo. The December 10 People’s Daily article is widely regarded as hinting that Zhou will receive a "death sentence."
Source: People’s Daily reprinted on china.com.cn, December 10, 2014