Twelve criminals were executed yesterday for homicide and robbery, according to the Supreme People's Court.
The execution of the 12 people, involved in three cases in the provinces of Sichuan, Henan and Guangdong, is the nation's latest step in cracking down on violent crime.
"The courts will continue to strengthen their crackdown on crimes that jeopardize public safety,'' said Jiang Xingchang, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court. "In particular, we will concentrate on gang crimes and violent crimes such as planting explosives, homicide, robbery and kidnapping.''
Of the 12 criminals executed yesterday, Ran Xingli, Yang Guiqing, Pan Chuangdong and Zhou Yufu were found guilty of robbing passers-by, vehicles and shops in Sichuan Province. Ran was convicted of killing 11 people and stealing more than 24,000 yuan (US$2,900) between 1996 and 2000.
A court in Henan Province has ruled that Chang Jianli, Wu Wenli, Ren Yunshuang and Liu Xiaoliu were guilty of drugging their victims with sleeping pills and robbing them in the provinces of Henan, Hebei and Fujian, according to the Supreme People's Court.
The death sentence was also passed on Deng Xingzhong, Deng Jiqian, Li Meijun and Deng Lianhu, who were found guilty of killing drivers and stealing their vehicles, as well as stealing more than 487,000 yuan (US$59,000) worth of goods, in Guangdong Province.
"These crimes have seriously endangered social security and violated the lives and property security of the public,'' said Jiang. "These criminals must receive severe punishment according to the law.''
These executions follow several other cases that have attracted public attention.
In one of them, Jin Ruchao and three accomplices were sentenced to death on Wednesday for their role in the March explosions in north China's city of Shijiazhuang that killed 108 people.
In southwest China's city of Chongqing, the local court is trying Zhang Jun, who has been prosecuted for robbing a bank van carrying money in south China's city of Changde last September and killing seven people. Zhang and his accomplices, who were also involved in other cases of homicide, will receive their sentences today.
This month, China started a nationwide campaign to crack down on gang crimes and violent crimes to make the public feel safer.
At a national conference in Beijing earlier this month, President of the Supreme People's Court Xiao Yang warned that any official who shelters gangs or takes part in gang crime will receive severe punishment according to the law.
(China Daily 04/21/2001)