Wrong for peo­ple to praise killings

China Daily (Canada) - - WORLD -

to po­lice in Hanzhong, North­west China’s Shaanxi prov­ince, last week, two days af­ter stab­bing to death three male mem­bers of a neigh­bor­ing fam­ily. Bei­jing News com­ments:

The man, Zhang Koukou, al­legedly stabbed the men to take re­venge for his mother, who died on the way to hos­pi­tal af­ter a scuf­fle be­tween mem­bers of the two fam­i­lies in 1996. The neigh­bors had been quar­rel­ing over land for con­struc­tion, and Zhang, who was 13 at the time, wit­nessed his mother’s death.

Many ne­ti­zens have praised Zhang, call­ing him a chival­rous hero be­cause he took lives of his mother’s “killers”, and spared the lives of oth­ers in the Wang fam­ily.

The youngest son of the Wang fam­ily, who was 39 when he was killed, was sen­tenced to eight years in prison for strik­ing Zhang’s mother on the head with a wooden pick­axe han­dle dur­ing the scuf­fle that led to her death. The court also ruled the Wang fam­ily com­pen­sate the Zhang fam­ily 42,000 yuan ($6,620) for their loss. But the Wang fam­ily was too poor to af­ford that much, and it only man­aged to pay about 9,600 yuan, to which the court was amenable.

The vil­lagers who wit­nessed the orig­i­nal fight and

the court’s writ­ten judg­ment all agreed that Zhang’s mother started the spat by spit­ting in the face of the young Wang, who was 17 and play­ing by him­self near his home. Zhang’s mother also struck the first blow by hit­ting the young man on head with an iron rod twice.

That both the Zhang and Wang fam­i­lies ac­cepted the court’s judg­ment in­di­cates that jus­tice was served, and the case should have been laid to rest long ago. Ac­cord­ing to the vil­lagers, the two fam­i­lies had not quar­reled since then. Zhang, who has not re­turned to his home­town for sev­eral years, came back as an un­em­ployed mi­grant worker, and staged the at­tack in broad day­light in front of many wit­nesses.

Zhang’s sur­ren­der­ing to the po­lice and spar­ing the lives of the other fam­ily mem­bers does not change the fact that he killed three peo­ple with mal­ice afore­thought. It is up to the court to de­cide his pun­ish­ment, but he de­serves no praise.

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