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Chinese Sausage Seller Spared Execution  

2007-04-11 23:57:09|  分类: 未来史料 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Chinese Sausage Seller Spared Execution

 

BEIJING, April 10(Reuters) - A Chinese roadside sausage seller was given a suspendeddeath sentence on Tuesday for slitting a government inspector'sthroat in a case that gripped the nation and highlighted a yawningwealth gap.

 

Cui Yingjie, 23,killed Li Zhiqiang with a fruit knife in suburban Beijing lastAugust after Li and urban management colleagues seized the tricycleCui used in his business of cooking and selling food.

 

Urban managementofficials, known as "cheng guan", are mainly responsible forcracking down on unlicensed hawkers suspected of selling unsanitaryfood or low quality goods.

 

The Beijing courthanded down the death penalty to Cui, but suspended execution fortwo years, defence lawyer Xia Lin said. Such sentences are usuallycommuted to life imprisonment on condition of goodbehaviour.

 

"I hadanticipated a more lenient sentence, but his father is happy it isnot immediate execution," the lawyer told Reuters. The defence hasyet to decide whether to appeal.

 

The lawyer arguedat Cui's December trial that the ex-serviceman committed "a crimeof passion" because he was desperate to win back his livelihood anddid not mean to kill Li.

 

Court officialsand Beijing's urban management office declined tocomment.

 

The Beijing citygovernment posthumously honoured Li as a "revolutionary martyr" butCui's plight sparked a nationwide outpouring of sympathy and aheated debate on the need to protect the basic rights ofdisadvantaged groups.

 

He Weifang, a lawprofessor at Peking University, welcomed the suspended deathsentence as being "significant to the easing of socialtensions".

 

"Barbaric lawenforcement was once everywhere. The right to survival of those atthe bottom of society was ignored," He said of the cheng guan. "Weshould frankly face up to the existence of the poor and create roomfor people from all strata of society."

 

"Some cities havemade a positive response (after Li's death) and urban managementofficials have been ordered to behave in a more civilisedmanner."

 

Cui, from apeasant family in the northern province of Hebei near Beijing, isone of about 130 million migrants who have left their familiesbehind to work in factories, restaurants or odd jobs incities.

 

Three decades ofmarket reforms have transformed China from an economic backwaterinto a powerhouse but widened income disparities.

 

The army of urbanmanagement officials was set up across the country in the late1990s to ensure cities were clean and orderly, but critics say ithas become a huge interest group thriving on fines andconfiscations with over-reaching power.

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