we did not publicize the information immediately, and there was no intentional coverup of the facts,” Tang Xuebing, spokesman for the Zhejiang Higher People’s Court, told NewsChina on January 22.
According to the Zhejiang court’s announcement, the original police investigation quickly identified five local young men as possible culprits: Chen Jianyang, Tian Weidong, Wang Jianping, Zhu Youping and Tian Xiaoping. In July 1997, the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court gave the death CHINA WEEKLY I March 2013
“Damage has been done to the five convicts, mentally and physically.” penalty to Chen Jianyang, Tian Weidong and Wang Jianping; a two-year suspended death sentence (a sentence almost always commuted to life imprisonment) to Zhu Youping; and a life sentence to Tian Xiaoping. Four of the men made appeals to the provincial higher court, and in December 1997, the court’s final decision was that Chen Ji-
anyang, Tian Weidong, Wang Jianping and Zhu Youping would receive two-year suspended death sentences, and Tian Xiaoping would be given life imprisonment. A source from the Zhejiang higher court told NewsChina that there was dissent among the higher court judges when reviewing the three death sentences in 1997. Some of the judges on the panel found significant holes in the evidence collected by the police. For example, one vital piece of evidence was missing: any trace of the suspects’ fingerprints at the scene of the crime. “Wang Youzhang, deputy director of the
April 2013 Issue