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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Death penalty in fraud crimes divides public

By Yang Jingjie (Global Times)

13:19, January 20, 2012

Wu Ying, the businesswoman sentenced to death for cheating investors out of several hundred million yuan, bursts into tears after hearing the decision by the higher court to uphold the sentence. (CFP Photo)

The death sentence verdict of a female billionaire, who cheated investors out of several hundred million yuan through illicit means of financing, has sparked heated public debate, with observers calling for a relaxation of limits on informal lending by authorities.

The Zhejiang Provincial Higher People's Court Wednesday upheld the death penalty for Wu Ying, the 31-year-old former owner of the Bense Holding Group.

Wu, born to a farmer's family, was the sixth-richest woman in the Chinese mainland in 2006, with total assets of 3.6 billion yuan ($569.99 million), according to the Hurun Report. She was arrested in 2007 for illegal fundraising and fraud.

In December 2009, she was sentenced to death by the Jinhua Intermediate People's Court for cheating investors.

Wu raised 770 million yuan by promising high returns to investors between May 2005 and February 2007, the intermediate court found. She still had 380 million yuan as well as a large amount of unpaid debt with creditors when the case was uncovered.

According to the media, in order to get a lenient sentence, Wu had accused 17 officials and bank executives during her detention, many of whom have been convicted.

In a ruling, the Zhejiang Higher People's Court said Wednesday that it rejected Wu's appeal as Wu "brought huge losses to the nation and people with her severe crimes, and should therefore be severely punished."

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Leave your comment8 comments

  1. Name

hill at 2012-02-1492.234.205.*
The verdict is too harsh .Death penalty spurs more criminal acts .Never stops it .Death penalty should be abolished .
hill at 2012-02-1492.234.205.*
The verdict is too harsh .Death penalty spurs more criminal acts .Never stops it .Death penalty should be abolished .
Gary at 2012-01-21125.237.207.*
If this type of crime was punishable by death then there would be very much less crime in the western countries. I still do not agree however, and there must be another way
Sam Teng at 2012-01-21175.136.180.*
Death penalty for serious crimes has been a hot debate and many countries have different views. Even in the US, not all the states impose death penalty. Very often, it had been argued on humanitarian grounds. I would say that if the crime resulted in premeditated murder or death of the victims, death penalty should be imposed as the last resort. This will serve as a deterrent for would be offenders. There is no right or wrong in death penalty. It depends on the circumstances of the crime and the situation of the country or state at that moment. Protection and fairness to the innocent victim should be of paramount importance.
Fat-Chun Leung Ki at 2012-01-20188.61.105.*
After 1949 revolution, China needed very severe laws to discourage frauds and other serious crimes. Such crimes were rampant. Some of the criminals,who committed serious frauds, were caught and were put to death by the people"s courts. More than 60 years have since passed and Chinese society has changed tremendously and the criminal laws need to be brought up to date, making the legal system more aligned with the mainstream of international legal practices. Take the case of Bernard Madoff, just as an example. He who ran a ponzi scheme defrauded billions of US dollars from the US public. The US Supreme Court did not condemn him to death but 150 years in prison. In most modern societies, death sentence is regarded as a cruel and revengeful mean to wreak justice. Without condoning serious crimes, death penalty should be resorted to for frauds when the crimes committed seriously endanger public peace and security.

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