2 comments December 22nd, 2008 Headsman
On this date in 2003, Liu Yong’s situation took a very abrupt turn for the worse.
The wealthy Communist Party member and Shenyang city legislator had been sentenced to death 20 months before in a corruption case for ordering the murder of a tobacco vendor as part of a mafioso racket of graft, extortion, black marketeering, and kindred mayhem.
When that sentence was reduced on retrial on a showing that Liu’s confession was extracted by torture, public outcry at the appearance of a well-connected insider getting off scot-free led the Supreme Court to take the unprecedented step of yet again re-trying a criminal case itself.
“According to China’s legal system, a criminal case can usually be tried only twice,” as China Daily lightly put it.
Amnesty International is less measured, and alleges that the irregular Supreme Court hearing was ordered by political insiders to buttress the credibility of the country’s anti-corruption drive — and to avoid setting any precedent that evidence of torture should mitigate criminal sentencing. (China certainly found defenders for the trial (the link is to an ugly layout of raw HTML).)
The high court handed down its sentence this very day, after which Liu was immediately hailed to one of China’s mobile execution vans, given a lethal injection, and cremated.
Also on this date
- 1711: Phebe Ward, Thomas Pritchet and John Matthews
- 1793: 213 or so Lyonnaise
- 1815: José María Morelos, Mexican revolutionary
- 1942: Eleven members of the Red Orchestra
- 1849: Not Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,China,Crime,Death Penalty,Execution,Infamous,Lethal Injection,Milestones,Murder,Notable Jurisprudence,Organized Crime,Political Expedience,Politicians,Scandal,Torture,Wrongful Executions