Nail-gun murderer execution a triumph for rule of law

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/15 19:58:39

Jia Jinglong, who killed a village official last year after his home was demolished, was executed on Tuesday, according to the Intermediate People's Court in Shijiazhuang, in North China's Hebei Province.

The case triggered an online outcry. When Jia's death sentence was ratified by the country's Supreme Court last month, some activists expressed strong opposition. They claimed that Jia killed He Jianhua, the village chief, out of strong emotion because his house was forcibly wrecked, and the village chief committed wrongdoings first. Some netizens created pathos by saying that Jia was a poor man whose fiancée left  him because their future house was flattened, and who had no other way but to take revenge with a nail gun.

The Supreme Court responded to the online doubts Tuesday and proved that many descriptions of the case online were untrue. Jia had planned the killing for two years and committed the crime deliberately. Then he escaped the scene but was intercepted by villagers. Jia resisted arrest by firing the nail gun.

Moreover, the demolition was part of a legal development project. Jia's father had agreed to move and had received his compensation. That Jia refused to move was the reason for calling off the wedding. The murder victim can't be blamed for Jia's trouble.

The Supreme Court has kept its principles in the face of opposing public views. Some netizens hold the simple logic that forced demolition is evil and Jia's killing of the village chief was a heroic act. But the truth runs contrary to such a story line. The law respects only the facts and will not compromise to public sentiment.

Some lawyers misled public opinion by not revealing the true picture of the case and did not have a precise understanding of the law.

Some online opinion fell into the stereotype that Jia, an ordinary farmer, fought against injustice represented by village officials so his death sentence is not justified.

China is engaged in building a society based on the rule of law. It is wrong to frame some serious cases with past ideologies to cater to "political correctness" on the Internet. If so, the "moral court" led by the Internet will become China's "Supreme Court" and public opinion will have the final say.

The various debates around Jia's case were hard to get to the bottom of. The whole case was handled flawlessly under the law. The public should respect the law after voicing their own opinions.

The case shows that activists should be prudent when getting involved in such cases as what they know may not support their judgment. They may be trapped in their own sense of moral superiority over the judges. Judges and activists should both hold the law in awe.



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