Report says Chengguan rarely face heavy penalties

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-10-18 0:03:01

A majority of the 16 widely covered cases since 2000, in which vendors died from physical altercations with urban management officers, or chengguan, during law enforcement, resulted in the accused being exempted from criminal penalties, the Southern Weekly revealed on Thursday.

The newspaper analyzed the 16 major cases involving the controversial law enforcement techniques of the urban management officers and found only five cases where chengguan were sentenced to jail terms under criminal charges.

In 11 cases, the final critical causes of the victims' deaths were mainly attributed to victims' health problems. Among the five cases with criminal penalties, no chengguan was charged with intentional homicide, and most were only charged with the crime of intentional injury.

The report found that if the verdict said the victims died from health problems such as heart attack, even if it was induced by "external force from chengguan," the punishment tended to be lighter than in cases where the victims were not found to have health problems during the conflicts.

It was also found that penalties from the intermediate courts were heavier than those from lower-level local courts, and local procuratorates were often reluctant to hand over chengguan cases to courts at a higher level.

Liu Changming, a lawyer for one victim in Hubei Province, explained that this is because the local governments are often under great pressure from urban management departments and chengguan's families.

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