Stop execution, nail-gun killer’s sister asks
Some legal experts say circumstances leading to murder of local official suggest need for leniency
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.