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Rapist gets suspended death penalty in Beijing
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An unemployed man from northwest China was given a death penalty with a reprieve of two years in Beijing on Thursday after being found guilty of crimes including several rapes.

The ruling was handed down on Tuo Jianguo, 32 and a native of Shaanxi Province, by the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court in a first-instant trial held on Thursday.

The court was told that starting in August 2003, Tuo committed 11 rapes and four attempted rapes, in addition to three robberies and seven more burglaries in western Beijing, including Haidian and Fengtai districts.

Public security departments found Tuo via DNA tests. He was seized by security officers near Changxindian in Fengtai district on the evening of Aug. 16, 2007.

The police also seized other tools used for committing the crimes from his car, including a pair of white gloves, black scissors and a handheld lighter.

The court said evidence proved Tuo raped women using violence and intimidation and was guilty of rape. With the purpose of illegal possession, Tuo also broke into other people's homes and forced dwellers to hand over property and valuables. He also stole cash and belongings.

The court concluded Tuo was convicted of rape, and theft, as well as robbery, which is a serious crime in China, and decided to give him a death penalty with a reprieve.

It is not known whether Tuo will appeal his case.

In accordance with the Criminal Law of China, criminals who are given death penalties for having committed serious crimes are also given two-year reprieves if death sentences are not meant to be carried out immediately.

Normally, death penalties could be commuted to life imprisonment if convicts do not commit new crimes during the reprieve.

Death penalties require approval from the Supreme Court to be executed.

(Xinhua News Agency November 21, 2008)

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