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Court rules murderer not entitled to reprieve

(Shanghai Daily)

08:04, August 23, 2011

A COURT in southwest China's Yunnan Province yesterday sentenced to death a man who raped and murdered a woman and killed her three-year-old brother after a previous sentence caused a public outcry for being too lenient.

Li Changkui, 29, had been convicted of murdering 19-year-old Wang Jiafei and her brother Wang Jiahong in Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province, on May 16, 2009. Li first choked the woman, causing her to pass out, and then raped her. He killed her by striking her head with a hoe after she regained consciousness.

Li then grabbed her brother Wang Jiahong's leg and bashed him against an iron door, causing his death.

Zhaotong City's Intermediate People's Court sentenced Li to death for murder and ordered him to pay 30,000 yuan (US$4,688) compensation to Wang's family.

However, Li appealed and in March the Provincial Higher People's Court of Yunnan overturned the ruling, saying the punishment was too harsh.

Li was instead sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve. Such a sentence would have spared Li execution.

The ruling sparked outrage across China.

A total of 200 villagers signed a joint petition demanding that the sentence be reconsidered.

On July 16, it was announced that the provincial court had decided to take a second look at the case.

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