Deng Yujiao Convicted of “Intentional Harm,” Not Guilty of Murder Charges

Deng Yujiao, the waitress who fatally stabbed a government official after he made sexual advances towards her, went on trial and was charged with causing injury with intent. From Reuters, via Washington Post:

A Chinese waitress who killed a government official when he assaulted her was set free on Tuesday, ending a case that sparked online debate over widespread abuse of power.

Deng Yujiao was originally detained on suspicion of murder but was found guilty of the lesser charge of causing injury with intent, Caijing.com said.

Deng stabbed township official Deng Guida to death at a bathhouse on May 10 in central Hubei province when he assaulted her after she refused to provide “special services” — slang for sex.

[...] But her “mood disorder” limited her criminal responsibility, Caijing said, citing the court decision.

More details, from a report from Caijing. Selectively translated by CDT:

Meanwhile, a report from two evaluating authorities from Hubei Province regarding Deng Yujiao’s mental illness has also come out, with the following conclusion: “Deng Yujiao may have a mood disorder (bipolar), which may have a (limited) contribution to criminal responsibility.”

[...] According to the Chinese criminal code’s related regulations, excessive self-defense allows for “reduction of or removal of punishment.” Further, turning oneself in to the authorities and having partial criminal responsibility also allow for “lighter or reduced punishment.”

In addition, article 19 of China’s criminal lawsuits code stipulates that typically, sentences involving the “possibility of life imprisonment or death sentencing” are held at intermediate-level courts; therefore, lawsuits on matters such as “intentional killings,” “intentional harm,” and other offenses would be tried at intermediate-level courts. However, Deng Yujiao’s first appeared at the grassroots court level.

同时,两家湖北省内权威的鉴定部门对邓玉娇精神病鉴定的报告也已作出,结论为:“邓玉娇为心境障碍(双相),属部分(限定)刑事责任能力。”

[...]  根据中国《刑法》相关规定,防卫过当属于“应当减轻或者免除处罚”的情节,而自首和部分(限定)刑事责任能力均为“可以从轻或者减轻处罚”的情节。

另据《刑事诉讼法》第19条规定,通常“可能判处无期徒刑、死刑的普通刑事案件”,由中级法院直接一审;所以司法实践中,涉及“故意杀人”“故意伤害”等犯罪的案件原则上一审都公诉到中级法院。但此次邓玉娇案一审法院,则为基层法院。

Read also “Waitress case: it’s China’s legal system that is ‘mentally unsound’, not the girl” from Peter Foster at the Telegraph Blog.

June 16, 2009 12:28 AM
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Categories: Society