Top court to retry old mur­der case

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By CAO YIN and WaNG XIAODONG

China’s top court has de­cided to retry a case in which a 21-year-old man was sen­tenced to death and ex­e­cuted after a re­view of the case found the orig­i­nal con­vic­tion for rape and homi­cide was based on in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence.

The Supreme People’s Court des­ig­nated Shan­dong High People’s Court to con­duct the re­view of the case, and it con­cluded there was not enough ev­i­dence to prove Nie Shu­bin was guilty of the crimes.

In its re­port, Shan­dong People’s High Court raised se­ri­ous ques­tions about the times in­volved, the tools used and the cause of death, the Supreme People’s Court said in a state­ment re­leased on Wed­nes­day.

Nie, a me­chan­i­cal worker in Shi­ji­azhuang, cap­i­tal of North China’s He­bei prov­ince, was ex­e­cuted in 1995 after be­ing con­victed of rap­ing and mur­der­ing a 38-year-old woman in the city in 1994.

How­ever, in 2005, a man named Wang Shu­jin was ar­rested for an­other rape and mur­der, and while in de­ten­tion, the then38-year-old con­fessed that he had com­mit­ted the crimes that cost Nie his life.

Wang was later con­victed of the crimes and sen­tenced to death.

Wang’s con­fes­sion led to the Supreme People’s Court’s de­ci­sion to re­view the case.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by Shan­dong People’s High Court, the re­view took a year and a half and the dead­line was post­poned four times, due to the com­plex­ity of the case and the fact that the trial took place many years ago.

How­ever, the re­view found no ev­i­dence that Nie had been tor­tured to give a con­fes­sion, the court said.

Zhou Guangquan, a law pro­fes­sor at Ts­inghua Univer­sity, said that the de­ci­sion to retry the case shows the re­spect to the law, the facts and the proper im­ple­men­ta­tion of pro­ce­dures.

Ruan Chuan­sheng, a crim­i­nal lawyer who has been fol­low­ing the case from Shang­hai, said strictly im­ple­ment­ing ju­di­cial process and re­spect­ing ev­i­dence is the key to pre­vent­ing ju­di­cial flaws and mis­takes.

Wang Wan­qiong, a crim­i­nal lawyer in Sichuan prov­ince, said that the re­trial will be a mile­stone in Chi­nese ju­di­cial con­struc­tion.

“This will be the first time that China’s top court will retry a con­tro­ver­sial case that was tried so long ago,” she said.

De­tails of the re­trial will be made pub­lic, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment by the Supreme People’s Court.

Con­tact the writ­ers at wang xiaodong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Nie Shubi

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