Friday, December 2, 2016

China: Supreme Court Exonerates Man Executed in 1995
 by Michael Forsythe
HONG KONG — China’s Supreme Court on Friday exonerated a man who had been executed for murder in 1995, in a dramatic example of the inequities in the country’s legal system and the authorities’ halting attempts to come to grips with them.
The man, Nie Shubin, was 20 when he was convicted of killing Kang Juhua, a woman who was raped and murdered in the northern province of Hebei in the summer of 1994. The local police arrested Mr. Nie soon after her body was found, and he confessed to the killing after days in detention. He was executed by gunshot in April 1995.
In 2005, another man, Wang Shujin, confessed to murdering Ms. Kang. But it took Mr. Nie’s family 11 more years of campaigning to clear his name before the Supreme Court did so on Friday. The court ruled that there had not been enough evidence to convict Mr. Nie and cast doubt on the authenticity of his confession.
Mr. Nie is not the first person to be posthumously exonerated by a Chinese court years after execution, but it is impossible to estimate how many have been wrongly put to death. Even the number of annual executions is a state secret; Amnesty International estimates that it is in the thousands, more than in any other country. They seem to have declined since 2007, after the Supreme Court began reviewing the implementation of the death penalty, the rights group said in a 2015 report.
Under President Xi Jinping, the government has been making efforts to overhaul the criminal justice system, with the overturning of wrongful convictions a key part of that effort. Prosecutors in China almost always secure a conviction, and confessions are often made under duress.

1 comment:

  1. The full judgment in the case as well as a list of people behind the scenes that helped to exonerate Nie are all available in the Wechatosphere. A group of 100 lawyers were involved. Some persons along the way lost their jobs.