Stop ex­e­cu­tion, nail-gun killer’s sis­ter asks

Some le­gal ex­perts say cir­cum­stances lead­ing to mur­der of lo­cal of­fi­cial sug­gest need for le­niency

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YI zhang_yi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The sis­ter of a man con­victed of mur­der has re­quested a halt to her brother’s ex­e­cu­tion, a plea that has re­ceived wide pub­lic at­ten­tion and that is backed by law pro­fes­sors at top uni­ver­si­ties.

The Supreme Peo­ple’s Court ap­proved the death sen­tence given to Jia Jin­g­long, a 30-year-old vil­lager in Shi­ji­azhuang, He­bei province, for shooting the top of­fi­cial in his vil­lage.

The death penalty was handed down by the High Peo­ple’s Court in He­bei province on May 17. Un­der the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Law, such rul­ings re­quire the ap­proval of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court, and that was de­liv­ered to Jia’s lawyer on Tues­day.

Un­der the law, ex­e­cu­tions are to be car­ried out seven days af­ter the top court de­liv­ers its ap­proval.

The top court did not com­ment on the case on Sun­day.

The High Peo­ple’s Court in He­bei found that Jia shot He Jian­hua, the vil­lage chief, with a nail gun in Fe­bru­ary last year in an act of re­venge, af­ter his house was de­mol­ished dur­ing the vil­lage’s re­con­struc­tion in 2013, 18 days be­fore his wed­ding cer­e­mony was sched­uled to be held there.

“It is ob­vi­ous that the vil­lage com­mit­tee did not have the au­thor­ity to de­mol­ish Jia’s house by force. His sen­tenc­ing should take into ac­count the fact that Jia was en­raged by the de­mo­li­tion, which was led by the vil­lage chief,” said Si Wei­jiang, the lawyer who helped Jia’s sis­ter, Jia Jingyuan, draft the pe­ti­tion to halt the ex­e­cu­tion.

Si said he does not be­lieve that Jia de­serves to be ex­e­cuted im­me­di­ately.

The pe­ti­tion was sent to both the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court and the High Peo­ple’s Court in He­bei on Fri­day.

Ac­cord­ing to Si, Jia’s sis­ter is in Bei­jing and will hand a copy of the pe­ti­tion to the top court in per­son on Mon­day.

The ap­proval for ex­e­cu­tion that was is­sued by the top court has raised dis­cus­sions in China’s le­gal arena.

“Jia is a mur­derer, but should he be sub­ject to the death penalty and ex­e­cuted im­me­di­ately?” asked He Haibo, a law­pro­fes­sor at Ts­inghua Univer­sity.

The vil­lage chief did not have the au­thor­ity to or­ga­nize the de­mo­li­tion of Jia’s house, and Jia fought for his rights for two years, but his ef­forts were in vain, He said.

Liu Hong, a lec­turer at East China Univer­sity of Po­lit­i­cal Science and Law, said she be­lieves that courts across the coun­try should take into con­sid­er­a­tion that, on some oc­ca­sions, peo­ple at the grass­roots level are un­able to ob­tain jus­tice when they have been wronged.

“Jia was try­ing to get jus­tice in his own way by shooting the vil­lage chief, as he be­lieved that he was un­fairly treated,” Liu said.

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