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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Former tycoon's death sentence weighs heavily (3)

By Zhao Yinan (China Daily)

08:30, February 08, 2012

Chen said the top legislature considered abolishing the death sentence for financial fraud, although it was later excluded from the final proposal submitted to vote by lawmakers.

The list of crimes carrying a possible death sentence has evolved along with the country's shift of government priorities, since the criminal code was introduced in 1979.

Many economic crimes, including the crime of financial fraud that Wu is facing, were included during the 1980s and 1990s, when the country's opening-up led to both an economic boom and increase in financial offenses.

Apart from doubts in the case itself, public outrage over Wu's death sentence also stems from sympathy for her legendary life and concerns that the punishment may eventually discourage grassroots entrepreneurship, especially when many small businesses in coastal China have been shut down or are suffering.

A farmer's daughter from a small city in Zhejiang, a province known for booming household businesses, Wu started with a small beauty salon at the age of 22 in 2003. Before being arrested four years later, she had become owner of at least seven companies with about 780 employees.

Han Zhiguo, an economist, said even if Wu has illegally raised funds - which is still a disputable charge - it should be taken into consideration that many businessmen in China are compelled to do so since it is too difficult for private companies to borrow money from banks.

A survey polling about 2,800 companies in Zhejiang province last year showed 86 percent of respondents said banks had asked for additional conditions when they applied for a loan.

"The boundary of private lending and fundraising has to be cleared, especially when private lending is indispensable and government support is still difficult to get," said Chen Jun, deputy president of Zhejiang Chamber of Commerce.

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Leave your comment17 comments

  1. Name

Paty at 2012-02-1398.71.179.*
Chinese rich hope to follow the penaties of the west where the west allow criminals to negotiate, pay a pittance fine, and be free to do it all over again. That is why certain factions insist on having a lawyer in every family, to be criminals and get away with it. Soon you have a country with no morals policing the world while suing anyone that dares sign their contracts. Don"t go out on a limb and think you are doing any favours by letting her off. She is just the beginning.
PD User at 2012-02-13124.105.119.*
Deth penalty - you are not applicable in many country such as Philippines. For if you are applicable here, then all govertment officials will be dead.... In her case, death is right for this is the law and must apply to all, otherwise none at all.
PD User at 2012-02-10208.70.28.*
ming chu(US) wish to comment more on Wu Ying and the death penalty ....The very rich and wealthy people in America do not go to jail for serious crimes because they have good lawyers . In the case of Wu Ying of China , why should she be condemned to death ( her head chop off )?.....A true incident illustrates my point : A Chinese woman in this City of America walks out of this Chinese grocery store without paying for it--2 large bags of groceries--the store owner caught her , held her for the police . How embarrassed ashamed in tears she was in front of the other people . I am not a rich man but I paid the total cost of the grocers . I told her not to come back to this store .....maybe this woman have children waiting at home , waiting for dinner , maybe her husband is sick , cannot work . Show mercy and you will receive mercy . If I can afford $122 millions , Wu Ying would be a free woman today . Don"t chop her head off , execute here by the death penalty .
Tracker at 2012-02-09122.107.87.*
To prove a case the courts must prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that the person did indeed commit the crime but "to err is human" (we all make mistakes) and the severity of the sentence for making a mistake in law (even unknowingly) should be adjusted in accordance with the crime as not knowing the law is no excuse. I have no time or sympathy for criminals but is China sure they have the right criminal ? A jail sentence fair enough but the death penalty for a lesser charge of fraud.. hmmmm, alarm bells are ringing and something is wrong here but I am sure if Wu Ying is executed there will be some very relieved corrupt officials or businessmen. The death penalty should only be applied when the crime is "beyond reasonable doubt" and the punishment should fit the crime.
PD User at 2012-02-09220.164.118.*
One of famous Scientific Laws - for every action, equal and opposite reaction. She did not commit any physically violent crime, so no death sentence accordingly. She cheated someone of 1000 yuan? (one month"s average pay?), make her work for one and quater month, to pay back that someone she cheated (1000 yuan plus 1/4% interest. Oh..forgot to calculate in legal fees, court fees, etc.). If she cheated several people of several million yuan, well, you do the math- maybe several lifetimes of working in prison? I feel she should not be given the death sentence, but no free meals idling in prison for her or anyone either!

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