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Elderly Woman Sentenced to Death for Drug Smuggling
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An 80-year-old woman from southwest China's Guizhou Province has been given a suspended death sentence for drug smuggling, according to local authorities.

Zhang Shouzhen from Guiyang, capital city of Guizhou, was caught by railway police in Shijiazhuang, capital city of north China's Hebei Province, last Wednesday, carrying 8 kilograms of opium. She had apparently been offered 10,000 yuan (US$1,282) to transport the drugs.

"I wanted the money to buy a good plot of land in the cemetery,” said the illiterate woman.

The aged Zhang was accompanied by her daughter and her daughter's ex-husband, who said that they knew nothing about the drugs.

The intermediate people's court of Guiyang was not swayed by their denials, sentencing Zhang's daughter and the ex-husband to 15 years and 12 years respectively.

Breaking into tears in court, Zhang said "I didn't realize that I was breaking the law and I didn't mean to get my daughter involved."

(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2007)

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