Teng Biao (滕彪): On the Leping Case
Lawyer Teng Biao has distributed information on his blog about four defendants in prison in Zhongdian Village, Leping, Jiangxi Province, who have been sentenced to death despite serious doubts about their guilt. He writes:
The Leping municipal police was under pressure to solve the case during the following two years after the murders. On late May, 2002, the four defendants were arrested consecutively. The Jingdezhen Intermediate Court of first instance convicted them with murdering, robbery, raping and extortion, and sentenced the four accused to death.
After appeal, the Jiangxi Provincial High Court withdrew the judgment of first instance and remanded the case to the Intermediate Court on the grounds that the evidences were insufficient for conviction and the confessions of the four were obviously inconsistent or even contradictory with each other. The four defendants all claimed to be tortured brutally and showed their injuries. On November 18th2004, however, the Jingdezhen Intermediate Court gave the same judgment of death penalties to the four defendants again, despite the insufficient evidences and inconsistent confessions.
They appealed again. The Jiangxi Provincial High Court trialed this case, acquitted the four from the 9.9 case but again convicted them of the 5.24 case. However, without giving any reason, the death penalties were changed to suspended death penalties by the Court.