A teenager who has been sentenced to death for killing a corrupt and violent local Party official has gained the support of villagers, with 20,000 people petitioning the court for a lighter sentence. AP reports:
The murder trial has again cast a harsh light on abuses of power by communist cadres and the frustration many ordinary Chinese feel with a one-party system that sometimes allows officials to run their districts like personal fiefdoms.
China’s leaders have identified corruption as a threat to the country’s progress, but an opaque political system dominated by the ruling Communist Party – which brooks no dissent – and the lack of an independent judiciary contribute to the problem.
In the case of party secretary Li, the young man who confessed to the stabbing – 19-year-old Zhang Xuping – has been sentenced to death for the September 2008 killing, his mother and lawyer said Wednesday. The sentence was quietly handed down last week and an appeal was filed this week, they said.