Li Meijin: Sympathy for Child-killers Spoils Moral Judgment

Li Meijin, noted as a criminal psychology professor at the Chinese People’s Public Security University, published the following OP-ED on the English version of Global Times, a newspaper of People’s Daily:

Recent attacks against school children have stunned China.

In public discourse, one common explanation for the criminals’ motives has emerged. It’s claimed that they were seeking revenge on society, and many parts of the media focused on the criminals’ personalities and hard lives.

Our attitude toward such child-murderers should be clear. We could not ascribe it exclusively to social problems or the criminals’ weakness. Who is more vulnerable than children? If we judge the question wrongly, our society would suffer a confusion of basic moral judgment.


Some of them were unequipped for life in society. Take Zheng Minsheng, the murderer in the Nanping massacre. Zheng said his former work unit did not offer him a proper post, but actually he quit himself. He said his superior was unkind to him, but how many people get on well with their bosses?

A person who is too weak to endure these difficulties can do nothing well. As for Zheng’s failure in love, it was due simply to his character defects. If he was a loser in his life, what kind of women wants to live with him?

Therefore, we cannot justify Zheng’s crime as he vented his anger on the society. Many criminals like Zheng have no idea what they have done wrong, so they always turn on the society.


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