Death Penalty

China Posthumously Overturns Death Sentence for Wrongly Convicted Ethnic Minority

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Huugjilt
family photo

Huugjilt, an ethnic Mongolian living in China, was 18 years old when authorities accused him of raping and killing a woman in a public restroom. He was eventually convicted and sentenced to death and executed a couple of months later. That was in 1996.

Now, a court in Inner Mongolia, the Chinese region in which Huugjilt was executed, has ruled that he was wrongly convicted, a judge even offering "sincere apologies" to the family. Rather than raping and killing the woman, Huugjilt had apparently heard her screams and approached to try to help. Authorities found out their mistake when another man confessed to the killing in 2005 in the course of confessing other crimes.

The Chinese government says it is taking the possibility of more wrongful convictions seriously. The Independent reports:

Human rights activists hailed the decision [to overturn Huugjilt' conviction] as Communist Party-run courts in China have a high conviction rate, which leads to allegations that apparent confessions are forced from the accused by methods of torture.

Detectives have admitted that they felt pressed to secure a conviction in a crack down on crime and Huugjilt was declared guilty in April 1996 before he was executed two months later. A retrial was scheduled last month with the confession from Zhihong presented to the judge.

China's high court has since taken charge of reviewing all death sentences and has pledged to carry out executions for only the most heinous crimes. The country also has more convictions than the world combined, however the data is kept top secret.

Another man, still on death row, was acquitted in August. He says he was tortured into confessing he had killed two children with poison before being spending six years in prison.

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  1. I’m really surprised that China would open this can of worms. Everything I’ve heard about the Chinese justice system says that its incredibly brutal, harsh, and rigid. There’s no way they could have a conviction rate as high as they do without convicting a mind numbingly high number of innocent people. It’s kind of like the Cardassian courts in Star Trek.

  2. China’s high court has since taken charge of reviewing all death sentences and has pledged to carry out executions for only the most heinous crimes.

    Rape and murder are serious crimes, and this guy was wrongly executed for both. So good luck with your little plan there.

    When I lived in China, I was told that no one stopped to help accident victims because they would then be financially liable. I guess this is a similar mindset–don’t help the rape victim, or they’ll arrest you for the crime.

  3. China’s high court has since taken charge of reviewing all death sentences and has pledged to carry out executions for only the most heinous crimes.

    You know, like disobeying, or challenging authority.

  4. China admits mistakes; Thomas Friedman hardest hit.

    1. By ‘hardest hit’ you mean he had an orgasm thinking about executions by kangaroo courts?

      You are most likely correct Jordan.

  5. Wait, how do they know Zhihong didn’t wrongly confess?

    1. What is stunning to me is that the cops pushing bamboo under his nails made that part of the confession public.

  6. I looked at the paycheck which had said $7434 , I didn’t believe that my mom in-law realy bringing in money in their spare time at their computer. . there brothers friend has been doing this for only 16 months and just paid for the morgage on there place and bought a top of the range Aston Martin DB5 .
    You can join just easy ——- http://www.jobsfish.com

  7. No hat tip, Ed?

  8. I found this chart when I was previously looking up information on why the US still has the death penalty. China is pretty much the worst offender on it.

    http://www.worldcoalition.org/…..abase.html

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