Chinese condemn murderer’s life sentence

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/19 22:32:06

Many netizens accuse US legal system of harboring felony

The Chinese public expressed outrage and strongly denounced the "unfair and unjust" US legal system on Friday after the murderer of 26-year-old Zhang Yingying, a visiting Chinese scholar, was sentenced to life in prison instead of death, as many had previously demanded. 

Brendt Christensen, 30, was sentenced Thursday (local time) to life in prison for kidnapping and killing Zhang, a Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois, two years ago. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict for the death penalty, CNN reported. 

Christensen bowed his head and smiled after the court announcement. Zhang's father asked Christensen where his daughter's body was placed as Zhang's remains were never found. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on Friday strongly condemned the cruel act of the perpetrator, and said the Chinese government attaches great importance to safeguarding the legitimate rights of overseas Chinese citizens, and the ministry will continue to provide the necessary assistance to Zhang's family. 

Many Chinese netizens who had closely followed the case since 2017 were devastated and enraged at the court's failure to impose the death sentence on the killer. 

The phrase "murderer of Zhang sentenced to life in prison" topped the hot topic list on Sina Weibo on Friday, and it had been viewed more than 200 million times.

Some called the US legal system "trash" and "disgusting" for harboring such felonies, as people can kill anyone they want without giving their own lives as penalty. 

"The US legal system is total garbage, and the jury system that purports justice has completely lost its purpose, and we should all strongly condemn it," according to one comment on Weibo. 

Some Chinese people called on parents not to send their children to the US for studies, as a country which tolerates killers will only "encourage" more murders and killings. 

"Please keep your daughters away from such a country," one netizen said on WeChat. 

There were 662,100 Chinese students studying abroad in 2018, China Radio International reported.

The sentiment was not only evident on Chinese social media, but on Twitter as well. Some tweeted that a murderer does not deserve to be afforded human rights for a brutal murder, and that the jury was "hypocritical."

Wang Zhidong, the Zhang family legal adviser, said in a statement sent to the Global Times that lawyers of Zhang's family expressed gratitude to professionals who worked on Zhang's case. 

Although the ruling gave Zhang's family some comfort, their pain persists as they cannot take Zhang home. The whereabouts of Zhang's remains remain unclear, leaving everyone in distress and disappointment, read the statement.

Zhang went missing in June 2017 while on her way to sign an apartment lease. Christensen took her to his home, raped, choked and stabbed her. He also smashed her on the head with a baseball bat before decapitating her.

A total of 21 states including Illinois in the US have abolished the death penalty, and only 13 states in the past five years have carried out a death sentence, according to China Central Television. 

But in Zhang's case, as it was being tried in a federal court, a death sentence could be imposed if the jurors unanimously agreed to it.

Global Times

Posted in: SOCIETY

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