Rape case lawyers overstep the mark
Standing outside the court gate on Wednesday morning among hundreds of reporters on the scene to report the high-profile rape case, I kept asking myself what the role of lawyers should be before or during such a trial.
Instead of a normal court hearing, the trial on Wednesday appeared more like a scripted drama. Hundreds of reporters waited outside the court despite the rain, in the hope of learning “shocking” information about the case, which involves well-known military singer Li Shuangjiang’s son, who allegedly gangraped a woman with another four men in February.
The case was not a public hearing due to it involving minors, whose privacy must be protected under law, but many details had been exposed by the lawyers before the trial.
Lawyers of all five suspects and the woman’s attorney sparked massive debate on the Internet before the trial, making the case confused and arousing doubts in onlookers and even judicial experts.
Wu Ming’an, a law professor with the China University of Political Sciences and Law, said it was a pity to see such a “performance” by the attorneys.
“It can be understood that the involved parties freely spoke their opinions, but it’s not professional or sensible to see lawyers do the same,” Wu said. “Instead, the attorneys should guide and persuade their clients to calm down, especially for such a nonpublic and sensitive case.”
China has no clear rule to regulate lawyers’ behavior before trials, “but it should be general knowledge that the attorneys involved cannot leak