Villager executed for revenge killing despite legal experts’ pleas for further case review

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/15 16:13:15

Jia Jinglong, a villager from Shijiazhuang, capital of North China’s Hebei Province, who fatally shot his village chief with a nail gun in revenge for the forcible demolition of his home, was executed Tuesday morning by a local court after the death sentence had been approved by the Supreme People's Court (SPC).

The Intermediate People’s Court of Shijiazhuang arranged for Jia to meet his family before his execution, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

According to the SPC, the conduct of the accused constituted the crime of homicide. The SPC ruled that what he did was extremely cruel, the consequences were extremely serious, the personal danger was extremely significant and the crime was extremely serious, so the SPC approved the death penalty, Xinhua said.

According to the SPC's verdict, Jia had been holding a grudge against the victim He Jianhua ever since Jia’s house was demolished by the local government as part of a renovation project. On February 19 2015, Jia shot He in the brain with a nail gun that he had prepared in advance, and then attempted to escape the spot in a pre-prepared vehicle, Xinhua reported.

Jia was convicted of intentional homicide and sentenced to death, and also deprived of his political rights for life on November 24 2015 by the Shijiazhuang court, Xinhua said. 

Jia appealed the decision, but his appeal was rejected by the Hebei Provincial High People's Court on May 17. This decision was then submitted to the SPC for approval by law.

Jia's case ignited a public uproar after some legal experts voiced their opposition to the death penalty since it was forcible demolition in the first place and Jia was put in corner.

"The verdict of the SPC in its review of Jia Jinglong's case violates the country's standards for death penalty and is against the policy of using the death penalty cautiously…We appeal for the termination of the execution of Jia's death sentence and review of the case," read a copy of a letter jointly signed by a group of 12 lawyers and law professors including Jiang Ping, a senior professor of law at China University of Political Science and Law and sent to the SPC on Monday. 

The letter also said the SPC only gave five days for Jia's lawyer to submit his legal opinion and spent nine days to review Jia's case after receiving the legal opinion, which could not ensure Jia's right to defense as well as the fairness of the verdict.

However, according to Xinhua, the SPC has fully guaranteed the litigation rights of the accused, including the right to defense.

Jia’s family called Wei Rujiu, Jia's lawyer, at 7 am after meeting with the condemned man, and again at 10 am, Wei told the Global Times on Tuesday afternoon. 

“They are still wondering if the decision can be altered, but they don’t know Jia had already been executed,” Wei said. 

When asked how legal experts are responding to the execution, Wei maintained his opposition to the verdict, “many of us still believe that the SPC has failed to take the forcible demolition and Jia’s confession into consideration.”

Posted in: SOCIETY,LAW

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