Beijing courts on Tuesday upheld the death sentences for 10 criminals convicted of rapes and robberies.
The executions were reviewed and approved by the Higher People' s Court of Beijing.
Fan Song and Zhao Peng, both from central China's Hubei Province, collaborated with Qiu Jianhui and his gang, also from Hubei, to commit 24 robberies in urban districts between March and August this year, according to the courts.
They broke down doors, beating and threatening victims into handing over money and property, wounding 10 people. They stole mobile phones, pagers, and gold and silver jewelry totaling 1 million yuan (US$120,000).
One of the gangsters, Qiu Jianwei, raped a woman during a robbery. Wang Shusen and Wang Yonggang, Beijing natives, targeted women taxi drivers in the city and neighboring Hebei Province. In 11 offenses, they snatched a total of 15,000 yuan (US$1,800) and raped several women.
Since the country launched in mid-July a nationwide campaign to crack down on robberies, courts in Beijing have closed 82 such cases involving 140 offenders, 70 percent of whom were sentenced to penalties ranging from five years in jail to death.
(China Daily September 18, 2002)