Discussion » Current Events » China defends decision to execute drug-smuggling B

  • wrote:

    China vigorously defended its justice system today, a day after its Supreme Court rejected the final appeal from a Briton who faces the death penalty on charges of drug-smuggling.

    The case of Akmal Shaikh, 53, from London, has prompted several appeals from Gordon Brown to China’s leaders to exercise clemency towards a man who reportedly suffers from mental health problems.

    A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said: "China’s judicial authorities independently handled this case in accordance with the law. Drug-smuggling is a grave crime in international practice."

    She rejected charges from groups supporting Mr Shaikh that the courts had refused to allow independent assessments of the Briton’s mental health. "During the entire process, the litigation rights and the relevant rights and interests of the defendant were fully respected and guaranteed. China has offered prompt consular information to the UK and arranged consular visits."

    Mr Shaikh was arrested in September 2007 on arrival in Urumqi, the capital of the far western Xinjiang region, in possession of four kg (8.8lb) of heroin. Campaigners said that he was duped into carrying the drugs for a criminal gang.

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that the Chinese authorities had confirmed the execution would take place on December 29. The FCO said it was “alarmed and deeply concerned" at the news that the final appeal had been denied.

    It also said it regretted that Chinese officials had not taken Mr Shaikh's mental health into account despite repeated requests by Mr Brown, government ministers and the European Union.

    If the death penalty is carried out, Mr Shaikh would become the first national from a European Union country to be executed in China in decades.

    The British prisoners' rights charity, Reprieve, which has been campaigning on behalf of Mr Shaikh, said he would become the first EU national to be put to death in China in 50 years. Diplomats have said an Italian national was executed during the chaotic Cultural Revolution in the 1970s.

    Mr Brown pressed the case to the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in a telephone call earlier this month, officials have said. An FCO spokesman said: "We will be using the next few days to renew and intensify our appeal to the Chinese authorities for clemency. The Prime Minister and other ministers have been, and remain, closely engaged."

    Reprieve said it has medical evidence that Mr Shaikh, who is married with three children, suffered from a delusion that he was going to China to record a hit single that would usher in world peace. However, he was duped by a criminal gang into unwittingly carrying drugs for them into China, Reprieve alleged, saying that his strange behaviour was "influenced or caused by" his mental illness.

    Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve’s director, said: “I just spoke to Akmal’s brother about this terrible news, and it is impossible to imagine what Akmal’s family are going through this holiday season. This is no time for pride – they beg the Chinese authorities to show compassion and take Akmal’s mental health problems into account.”
  • wrote:
    Interesting Comments:
    Robert Decent wrote:
    Every country has its sets of rules, laws and regulations.
    heroin ( hard drugs) smuggle) is rewarded with the death penalty in China.
    as westeners we are supposed to know the law of the country we live in and it is not the fault of the country we are visiting if they apply their rules, laws and regulations.
    regardless of the stance on the level of punishment the chinese are merely applying their law.
    if we do not like this than why are we visiting these countries?
    The responsibility lies with the individual and not the state.
    December 22, 2009 3:40 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (110)

    Kevin Sullivan wrote:
    Why is there always an uproar in the UK press when one of its citizens it caught smuggling drugs abroad? Drug smugglers are scum, they peddle death, and, misery without a care for the victims! Were we to apply the Chinese, and, many other far eastern countries version of justice, we could possibly see a reduction in a problem that poses severe problems for the west. Then again, we may not, but the problem would not get any worse, and, drug smugglers would know exactly where they stand! So are the Chinese being uncivilised in passing the death sentence? No, I do not think so, they are showing responsibility for the well being of their citizens, something, western governments are unable, or unwilling to do!

    Kenneth Wheatley wrote:
    Well done China. It's a shame the U.K. doesn't have the same courage to deal with people like that.
    Ken Wheatley
    December 22, 2009 4:16 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (97) Report Abuse Permalink

    David Hilbert wrote:
    Fully agree with Kieran Taylor and Robert Brown on this one. The Chinese penalties are completely in line with the heinous nature of this crime - drug dealing is MASS POISONING of society - in other words, chemical genocide.

    Furthermore, the death penalty has always, and will always exist: it has simply been transferred from an essentially law-abiding society who have been browbeaten into giving lip-service to accepting it (or at least remaining quiet) by the left-wing PC establishment. But the criminal elements have no such qualms and doesn't hesitate to annihilate whole sectors of their own society in their quest for territorial domination (just look at Mexico this year).

    DRUGS ARE POISON and ANYONE caught in possession of them should be subjected to the same fate that they deal out on their victims.

    I'm with China 100% here.
    December 22, 2009 4:20 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (80)

    John Whitney wrote:
    "This is the kind of news that makes anyone depressed."

    Wrong - you don't speak for me and I suspect millions more. I'm extremely happy that this drugs smuggler is getting the death penalty. Britain should do the same, with no room for appeals. We are far too forgiving a society for these scum criminals. They are laughing at us.

    Well done, China.
    December 22, 2009 5:00 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommend? (110)

    andy villages wrote:
    ok so this guy, who has "mental problems" and is "delusional", managed to travel ALONE to far away countries, book flights and hotels, drive a private mini cab, but still got "tricked" into carrying drugs without checking the bag? LOL who is he trying to fool? the chinese are not stupid
    December 22, 2009 6:04 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommended (77) Report Abuse Permalink

    Will Cox wrote:
    It'sapity the British govt don't show the same level of care to the young man facing extradition to the US. He has mental problems...but the US is a different matter..
    December 22, 2009 9:52 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk Recommended (42)
  • wrote:
    I found that British medium had a strong prejudice against China, but its people have their own point of view. It is ironical that its PM intervened China’s legal system and decision. Why a man with mental problems can travel the world, drive car, and take 4 KGs drug with him? Interesting.
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    These ignorant pricks and that's a highly selective bunch of comments there Sun.... there's a great deal of evidence to suggest that he is mentally ill. Look at the Reprieve and FO website for details


    @ andy villages It's possible for mentally ill to carry out a seemingly normal in society you fuckface. Look at you for example, you managed to post on a website without managing to chew off your own face.

    I personally don't believe carrying natural herbs or processed plants over arbitrary borders should be punishable by death, however, that is China's legal position which I accept.

    The difficulty people have is that China's legal system is ramshackle at best, and is not open to the same level of inquiry we would expect from our domestic systems (which have their own problems and are hardly perfect). We're told his rights have been abided by and his legal position has been respected but where's the proof?
    There's no in-depth court reporting to elucidate these matters.

    We don't want to interfere in internal affairs or say he should be exempt from laws. The question is, was he sane when he did it? Who supplied the drugs? Where are they now? He's just a poor old patsy.

    Read the facts, then make your minds up
  • wrote:
    Of course, I will select different comments that I like.
    At the same time, please give me more evidence that he is mentally ill.
    Your post is not facts and evidence that he is mentally ill.

    I just want to know why British government is so shameless to interfere in other country's legal decision.
  • 王经纬
    王经纬 wrote:
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    OK Sun, you want facts?


    Read this, for the second time of telling you. It contains full details of emails, facts, and psychiatric case history. From an independent charity.

    They're not shameless, they just want a fair hearing. And talking of shameless, how about (censored!)... no, don't talk generalizations Sun, I will smack you down in a debate on this
  • wrote:
    You do not need to smack me, hehe
    I support our government's decision, it is a good decision.

    If you think he is mentally ill, you'd better suggest those people with the same illness never smuggle drugs in China, otherwise, they will be punished.

    It is useless to debate with you and any people.
    The fact is that he committed crime and should be punished, do not find any excuses.

    If you think it is legat to smuggle drugs in your country, please let those criminals go to your country.
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    Actually, Sun you don't seem to be aware of your country's own constitution which says that if someone is found to be mentally ill when committing a crime he should not be found guilty of criminal act, and should instead be treated.

    it's called diminished responsibility. And it's your own country's law.

    It is not useless to debate with "you and any people" as you fatuously suggest. And it 's not an "excuse" it's a reason. You asked me to debate you on facts. i tried and you have proven yourself woefully inadequate to debating the task. You just sling mud and play the foreigner vs China card.

    "If you think he is mentally ill, you'd better suggest those people with the same illness never smuggle drugs in China" what does this even mean? are you suggesting that I should visit mental hospitals across the world and tell them not to smuggle drugs in China? I think you'd be the first person I would have to speak to...
  • wrote:
    haha, the only truth and fact are that your English is much better than me.
    Do not invent so many new words to find excuses for those criminals.
    The facts in Europe told us that if the government and the legal system are too loose, the criminals will abuse the law.

    If you are British, will you start another Opium War against China because we have a tight position on drugs? Frankly speaking, I read a lot of books and talked with some foreigners, we all think British is an evil country in international arena, I do not want to offend anyone, but I have to tell you the truth, no matter who violate law in China and he will be punished. Do not give me other so-called facts that there are people committed crimes but they are not punished, meaningless.

    But thanks for your arguments and discussion.
    You are a lovely person and much better than those just blurred China without any reasons.
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    The Opium Wars? Sun, why bring that up? Let it go, it was 200 years ago.

    But no, we will not start another Opium War Sun. I'm sorry that those guys did that centuries ago but they were not right to do it. Happy?

    As for the rest of your comments, I don't know where to begin. You initiated a so-called debate and then the minute someone disagreed with you, you lose it.

    Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, eh, Sun?
  • DonkeyTonk
    DonkeyTonk wrote:
    Simple fact Sun. If this guy is mentally ill (which evidence suggests he most almost definitely is) then he should be locked up in a mental institute.

    This plant that he's been smuggling grows freely and naturally across parts of china. In my gut, it just doesn't seem right this person is going to die especially considering the mental state.

    The death of any fellow human being is tragic regardless if you think the person was right or wrong.

    And BTW, to anyone reading comments on articles related to China on The Times website, be wary of political astro turfers.
  • wrote:
    Richard O'Connell wrote:
    Simple fact Sun. If this guy is mentally ill (which evidence suggests he most almost definitely is) then he should be locked up in a mental institute.
    I have only one word, why don't you lock him up in a mental institute before he committed crimes? OK, he is a human being, so how about those victims of drugs.

    The death of any fellow human being is tragic regardless if you think the person was right or wrong
    Sorry, I never heard your fellow citizen on the Internet had the same view when the Muslim mob killed many people in Xinjiang, China. Can you stop using different standard when you judge any thing? Any comments favored about China are political astro turfers? Only those criticisms are truth? It is ridiculous.

  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    Sun, if you want to support your own argument, you should find enough evidence from the web or somewhere else to prove this Englishman has no mental problem at all. He can be totally responsible for his behaviours.

    With those facts, you probably could start a good debating...
  • DonkeyTonk
    DonkeyTonk wrote:
    I have only one word, why don't you lock him up in a mental institute before he committed crimes? OK, he is a human being, so how about those victims of drugs.

    My reply> I'm not going to debate the standard of UK mental health treatment VS chinese because this isn't the point at all. If this was a chinese guy I would feel the exact same thing. People fall through the net all the time. Regardless of if he is chinese / english / whatever - if is he is mentally handicapped he should not face execution.

    Sorry, I never heard your fellow citizen on the Internet had the same view when the Muslim mob killed many people in Xinjiang, China.

    My reply > You never heard someone saying the loss of life in that time was tragic? Regardless who was doing the killing - Muslim mobs or Han mobs, the loss of any life was tragic and I really find it difficult to believe you never spoke to any of my fellow "Citizens" who also felt the same way.

    Can you stop using different standard when you judge any thing? Any comments favored about China are political astro turfers? Only those criticisms are truth? It is ridiculous.

    My reply > I didn't say any all comments are favoured by political astro turfers. I merely meant be wary of it. I've met someone who got paid to do this kind of thing while he was studying at university. It exists on all sides of the political spectrum in all countries.
  • Shane
    Shane wrote:
    Well, tell me this:

    What will killing the guy prove?
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    "What will killing the guy prove? "

    Shane, ending his life is not about proving something, it's only because this Englishman broke Chinese law and should be executed based on law.

    I'm not sure if he has mental problems or not. Western media says he has while Chinese media says not. I can not gather enough evidence to support either view.

    Anyway, he died this morning.
  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:
    Yes, he was killed this morning.
  • Notoro Kawabata
    it interesting how the human law seems to found balsam in such stupid activities as take the life out of bodies. What a lack of imagination.

    RIP Human.
  • DonkeyTonk
    DonkeyTonk wrote:
    Tragic. Let's hope that in time to come we don't find out he was set up.
  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    Your analysis of the British Criminal Justice system is massively oversimplified. It sounds like the worst kind of rant from a typical Daily Mail reader- you're better than that.

    Your comments about people sitting around in Council houses getting paid also betrays the intelligence that you obviously have in abundance. There are deep seated social reasons for many of these problems and you would do better to address them.

    London is indeed the drug capital of Europe (thank god) but there are overarching reasons for this, that have a lot more to do with the whole narrative of prohibition as opposed to the BCJS being soft on drugs.

    Just because the UK has problems with its system that does not mean they cannot comment on international affairs, particularly when it effects there citizens. No country has a perfect political, social or legal model. I really do not think this means they have no right to comment on International affairs.

    If you do not have a problem with the death penalty that's fine, I can understand arguments for it (though I'm against). But to cite the size of a population as a key factor is worrying. To me it implies that its ok to do it as a way of controlling population. So what. India, China, Bangladesh Ok- Holland Not ok. God forbid we decide on whether or not people have a right to life purely on the basis of the size of the population where they live!
  • DonkeyTonk
    DonkeyTonk wrote:
    I have no problem with the punishment of people in other countries.

    If you misbehave in another country, prepare to pay the consequences.

    I just think the death penalty is barbaric and as people, we're better than that.

    Even if you're 99.9% sure someone is guilty that is still one innocent man in a thousand has his life taken unjustly. That's one life too much.

    Give someone life imprisonment, bread and water for the rest of his life and hard labour.
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    Magnus B, where do you get that information of "the trial lasted half an hour"? Could you add your information link here?

    This Englishman was arrested in September, 2007 and the trials have been preceeding ever since.

    It's totally fine to argue whether China should abolish the death penalty or not, but if you really want to comment on this case, you have to be based on facts not hearsay.
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    For this famous international case, it violates the common sense to think the Chinese judicial system only used half an hour to decide a person's life.

    From what I know from Chinese media, they've done thorough investigation and duly enough trials.
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    "I dont think death penalty available.but law always law and have right logic that is philosophy drag in, we are not gov. hence we common can not change. Just write ur discontentment to address them if u complain unfair , but you have to give ur advice and answer or else that will be trashiness.cuz there are so many trashy advice receive from grass roots. some gov. torpor already abt that."

    @TO gov.:Above i says just bullshit, don't be serious. pls pay more attention.
    lol ....................
  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:
    most media reports I have read say it was a half hour trial. Not that that is the main debating point here.
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    "From what I know from Chinese media..." stop right there. Trust me.
  • Pete DeMola
    Pete DeMola wrote:
    Sounds a lot like the great American state of Texas, where the mentally retarded and criminal masterminds alike are met with the great needle of justice.

    A true equalizer among men.
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    well, meeting is over. hoo..
  • wrote:
    TonyDice wrote:
    "From what I know from Chinese media..." stop right there. Trust me.
    Trust me, the biggest liars in the world are CNN, British Medium and other western mediums. Trust me and never argue with me.
    1. Iraq has weapons of massive destruction, so what’s the facts after the war killing so many innocent people in Iraq?
    2. The riots in Tibet, Tibet is absolute part of China, the western medium always neglect the fact that 90% people in Tibet before the so-called occupation of China were salves, Dalai lama is the biggest slave owner.
    3. I can find lots of news from western mediums blurring China in every aspects.

    TonyDice, you are such kind reporter who writes lots of wrong reports about China, haha, I believe you contribute a lot to all news distortions about China. But please go on working hard to distort, because the aftermath is that almost majority of well-educated young Chinese do not trust and believe any reports from western medium. That will be a great victory for Chines government, because you helped a lot, lol!
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    I wouldn't question Chinese law, if I don't like it, I can leave.

    If by Chinese law anyone found smuggling 4 kg of heroin should be put to death, then it seems absolutely reasonable that China killed him.

    If however, China's law in fact makes an exception for stupid/retarded/unbalanced people and says that they should be treated differently somehow, then it seems recockulous that our comrade was executed when there's plenty of evidence that he was unbalanced, and it seems a psychological evaluation to confirm his mental state should be in order.

    I've heard that China's law does state something to this effect, but I haven't seen the evidence. Can someone please point me to a copy of Chinese law? (Yes, that's a joke, we all know that the law in China is whatever the government does).

    For the record, I don't support the death penalty except as administered for vengeance by a victim or next of kin.
  • Pete DeMola
    Pete DeMola wrote:
    Pardon my black humor, but I find the scenario a bit humorous.

    Bunch of drug dudes are like, "How do we get our product over the border?" They come up with all sorts of zany ideas, but none of them seem very sharp.


    "Hey," one of them says while sucking on a hash pipe. "Look at that guy over there singing to himself. Let's use him as a mule."

    They take the Briton out to dinner. Feed him some chuan'r and a few beers and tell him that he's special.

    With a bit of convincing, they manage to send the feckless chap over the border, he gets nailed and put to death.

    Ta-da. What did we learn from this?
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    I don't know why I bother... ok, here goes

    what is the western media? there's no such monolith.

    secondly, a good deal of UK media opposed the "weapons of mass destruction" argument - to no avail... that said, most laowei don't really trust the "western media" or any media... they just draw conclusions from the wide range of facts the "western media" offers.

    parenthetically, I agree the West and its media, justice system, politics, society etc is riddled with faults. problems. failures. inadequacies.

    I assume you would do the same for China, old buddy.

    OK, Sun, how about a face to face chat. Not a fight - a debate. Just you and me. You bring your facts, I'll bring mine. I don't want a fight, Sun. Just a reasonable debate... (but if you bring up the Opium Wars, I will wring your neck).

    Kidding X

  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    Carlos said: "most media reports I have read say it was a half hour trial. Not that that is the main debating point here"

    Yes, I googled. Most western media focused on the point of "half an hour trial", I can not find similar information in Chinese, so not sure about the truth.

    I think I just want to emphasize this Englishman was arrested more than two years ago, and executed recently. During these long period, Chinese judicial system has done what they have to do based on all lawful procedures. It's not like someone thought they irresponsibly decided his life within such a short time.

    TonyDice said, "From what I know from Chinese media..." stop right there. Trust me.

    I can't believe you just said that.:P If my memory is correct, you work in a Chinese media. If you don't believe Chinese media at all, I can't figure it out why you still force yourself to contribute to this “full of lies and inaccurate news” media.

    I never believe all the information offered by Chinese media is absolutely correct and unbiased, but "don't believe Chinese media at all" is kind of childish and stupid. If you can read in Chinese, you will find many Chinese media report political corruption, economic scandals, human rights abuses etc. So many. You have to be fair when you really want to criticize someone or something.

    This English guy smuggled 4kg drugs to China and he should be executed to death penalty. (you could be sentenced to death if you carry 50g or above based on Chinese law) You may think it's too harsh punishment for a person, but that's the reality. If you don't like this country's law, then don't come or come but obey the law. If you come to this country and tramp its law, then as an adult, you are fully responsible for your behavior, which means you have to accept any possible sentence.

    The main argument point for this case, I think, is whether or not this guy has mental illness. I trust every person has more or less mental problem, we just show them in different situations. (if you are a regular of this forum, you probably will see some people with obvious mental problem) Luckily, most of us can control our behavior not to violate laws. But when can’t you control it, when will this mental problem develop into a disease and lead you into a crime? It's not easy to define. You have to have enough evidence. I guess in most countries' law system, we define a suspect as a normal person until there is enough evidence to prove he's not. In this case,Chinese judicial system evaluated this Englishman could not bring up enough facts to prove he had a mental illness when he commit this crime, and that's why he was sentenced to death.
  • DonkeyTonk
    DonkeyTonk wrote:
    Sun you'll actually find us Brits are quite open about our own faults as a country. We criticise ourselves and we criticise others. Don't take it personally when China gets some criticism too.

    When you say "Western Media" you are taking the sum of all media outside China and lumping it together as if they have one editor controlling the news that is pumped out worldwide. Every publication has it's own views. Every journalist has their own views. Some of these may be, gasp, different opinions to your views!

    In the case of the Tibet issues last year, I was surprised to hear so many Chinese angered. When I was following the coverage it was mostly quite balanced, especially on the websites was getting my news from.

    The particular CNN and BBC articles that got so many Chinese in uproar were loose on facts since most journalists were expelled from the region and so hard facts were in short supply. These articles were publicised specifically by Chinese Media to get young men like yourself to believe Western media is hugely bias against China. Yes there are criticisms towards China and some news organisations may dish out more criticism than others, but every government gets it - EVEN OUR OWN.

    You'll find that in the lead up to the War with iraq, most of the non-Rupert Murdoch newspapers were reporting how the WMDs were made up by spin doctors. About 1 million UK citizens marched into London before the start of the Iraq invasion in protest against the war. Most of these people smelt the bullshit. The UK government gave its "facts" and they were torn to pieces by our own media.

    If you want to look at the real issues in Western Media Bias, just look at who owns the News Cooperation and look at where their financial interests lie.
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    Good point regarding the publicizing of selected Western articles, Dickie. It's a technique Sun has clearly learned himself.

    山林清音: that was a tongue-in-cheek remark. Working for a company does not mean you wholly endorse their views. Actually my section is fairly "progressive" and is almost entirely staffed by Western-style Chinese and foreigners. But there are some jingoistic elements who peddle the kind of knee-jerk nationalism you find in certain newspapers everywhere. As I work there, I see how the news is "reported"

    I used to work for Rupert Murdoch and like most of his staff, it was hard to shake off the sense you were in the pay of the Devil... but I never did any of the Devil's work myself. To use a coarse but effective American phrase, "It's better to be on the inside of the tent pissing out than the outside pissing in"

    As a final note, my hunch is that if the whole thing had not been so widely publicized, a quiet backroom diplomatic deal could have been engineered. As it was, it became impossible (in Chinese eyes) China to make any concession without appearing as though they were being bullied or giving special treatment ; it was better for China not to lose face, than for the guy to live.

    And of course, the Opium Wars. Let's not forget them
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    山林, I only have one question. How could anyone expecting to get away with bring a suitcase full of dope through an airport possibly be considered sane? The very nature of the crime would automatically disqualify the perpetrator from being considered mentally balanced.

    I'm not saying they shouldn't have killed him though. China is always striving to be more like Texas, where they execute retarded people. At least this guy demonstrated that he was a threat to society because of his unawareness of his own actions. In the states police have killed people for holding wallets, basketballs, or just for being 90 years old and sitting at home, and they are never convicted for it.
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    莫名said, "山林, I only have one question. How could anyone expecting to get away with bring a suitcase full of dope through an airport possibly be considered sane? The very nature of the crime would automatically disqualify the perpetrator from being considered mentally balanced."

    Do you imply that everybody could carry a suitcase full of dope through an airport and if he's lucky, he gets through; if not, he could tell the court: " How could you expect I was sane when I did that, No normal person would do that. Of course I have mental illness. Of course I should be exonerated from any crime."

    I think we use common sense to judge people, but court use evidence to sentece people. I'm not sure about other courtries (perhaps similar), but in China, nearly every prisoner under the sentence of death asks mental illness test. Maybe some do have psychotic disease, but you can't deny that some are just trying to use this opportunity as their last chance to get away from punishment.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    山林,it wouldn't surprise me if lots of sane criminals claim to be insane to avoid sentences for crimes. That's why the potentially insane criminals are evaluated by psychological professionals who can give evidence as to whether or not the person is in fact sane. Apparently the government refused to allow his examination.

    Obviously a person being crazy doesn't make him/her safer for society, and if the applicable laws don't consider sanity when sentencing, then it's not my place to question them. Since death sentences for crazy people committing serious crimes won't inhibit other crazy people from committing the crimes (since they're crazy), maybe safely isolating them from society while they receive treatment would be a more reasoned approach.

    People are upset because China's law supposedly requires consideration for the sanity of an offender, and some people think that China's hypocrisy in not following its own laws is somehow more of a problem than other countries hypocrisy and failure to follow their own laws. Maybe they have more hope for China than for the US, where people no longer bother to get outraged with all the illegal behavior of the government.

    ... at least, I think that's why most people are upset. Maybe his daughter is just upset because her dad was killed.

  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    David, sorry to drop the spelling bomb but it's not "herione", it's "heroin". I thought it was a typo but you misspelled it nigh on five times
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    莫明said, "Apparently the government refused to allow his examination."

    In China, suspect could apply for mental health assessment, but the judicial system will decide whether to proceed this assessment or not based on the facts and evidences such as the suspect and his family's medical history.

    This Englishman applied, but was refused by the highest court of China because unconvinced evidences showed that he didn't deserve an assessment.

    " at least, I think that's why most people are upset. Maybe his daughter is just upset because her dad was killed. "

    I think we are all sad in some ways considering the lost to his family, but that's the law. Law is always ruthless.


  • DonkeyTonk
    DonkeyTonk wrote:

    Is there much debate in China over the death Penalty or is it generally considered by everyone to be fine?

    I'm still amazed that some countries are still executing people. In Britain there have been been many people who received life sentences but years later got found to be innocent. If we still had capital punishment, those people would have died innocently.
  • Joakim Lund Rangel
    you have life sentence in england? In Norway the maximum penalty is 21 years, and you have to kill a bunch of people to get that.

    but 1 prison year is 9 months, so you are out after 15-16 years, or something like that.
  • DonkeyTonk
    DonkeyTonk wrote:
    We have "Life sentences" but it doesn't really mean life. I think it is closer to 15 years. For particularly nasty and publicly sensitive cases some will be locked up for their whole life.

    I'm no expert on UK law though. Her majesties prison service official website has loads of information http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/adviceandsupport/prison_life/lifesentencedprisoners/

  • Joakim Lund Rangel
    if the point is to "scare" people from doing crime, I don`t believe it matters if the punishment is 10, 20, 50 or a death sentence. In a crime scene does anyone know how many years they are risking anyways? :)
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    "Is there much debate in China over the death Penalty or is it generally considered by everyone to be fine?"

    Richard, there is not much debate in China over this issue. The voice on abolishing death penalty is very weak. Most people still think it reasonable and necessary to keep it for the sake of maintaining the order of this seemingly stable but actually chaotic society. But personally I think abolishing the death penalty or at least diminishing the scope of applying this punishment is the historical trend in future China just like more and more provinces of China choose lethal injection (as long as they have enough fund to buy the equipments) instead of shooting behind when they execute the criminals.

    About the Laws change: First of all, buying pirated DVDs is not against Chinese laws; producing and selling them are. So don’t worry, you can keep buying it. :P It’s not unlawful; it’s immoral.

    Secondly, “Piracy is against The Law. So if your main point is The Law, and you buy pirated DVDs, you're a hypocrite.” If buying pirated DVDs is against the law, if you say you never disobey any law, and if you buy those pirated videos, then you are a hypocrite. (which means you say one thing and do another) That should be the correct logic, right? :P

    Of course law is not always moral or ethical; of course law is changing with the change of society.When people say “it’s The Law”, that does not mean you can’t question the law, challenge the law, or alter the law. But when to change them? Apparently under the court, not on the court. The reason is very simple. If you can make an exception for person A, why can’t make an exception for person B, C or D. If you can make exceptions for anyone, then what’s the point to enact those laws? Just bring the suspects to the court, let the lawyers and judges decide everything based on their experience and judgment.

    I think when people say “it’s The Law”, it just indicates when you commit a crime and got caught, you have to face the punishment based on law, no excuse to escape.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    Peter, I like ur "Law change" comments, esp. the part "challenge the unfair law"

    I don't know too much abt the case, and I didn't read the whole tread. I agree the application of psychiatric examination in penalty measurement, but i should be more strict than current level; I agree on death penalty, but it should be applied in few extreme circumstances -- all are just my personal opinions
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    5. Right to demand an analysis of mental competence by both the prosecution and defence regardless of whether the government thinks you qualify...

    Remarks such as "the defendant denies being mentally incompetent" have shades of madness themselves.

    Frankly, the whole thing seems surreal

    In order to qualify for mental analysis, you have to admit to being 'mad'.

    But no person, sane or insane, ever believes he is mad.

    Has anyone here read Catch-22...?
  • DonkeyTonk
    DonkeyTonk wrote:
    To the Brits:

    Any one catch the Execution of Gary Glitter on Channel 4?

    As ridiculous as it was, I found it thoroughly entertaining.

  • DonkeyTonk
    DonkeyTonk wrote:
    At least it's better than all the boring talent show style TV that's around now.
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    Here are two things which are totally different:

    1) If you think this British had an unfair trial according to Chinese laws and regulations, and you want to argue, you need to offer the evidences, not imagination. For example, his psychotic status and qualified medical history certainly deserved a mental health assessment on the basis of Chinese own rules.

    TonyDice said: "In order to qualify for mental analysis, you have to admit to being 'mad' "

    Oh, really, I don't know this.( I am not knowledgable in law fields at all.) Could you add the exact link of this Chinese Law or regulation? So I can learn it. Thanks!

    2) If you think the present Laws have obvious flaws and drawbacks and need to be changed very soon, then welcome your thoughts and views.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Peter: '莫明 said, "For the record, I don't support the death penalty except as administered for vengeance by a victim or next of kin." I'm totally against that idea. Maintain the death penalty simply to scratch a little spot on our brain that says, "Vengeance is mine, and I will repay"? Pretty low on the moral reasoning ladder, if you ask me. Otherwise we leave the weighty matter of justice and its execution to the lowest of human whims ("If it feels good, do it."). And I don't want to live in that sort of society or institutionalize the very human emotion that caused the problem in the first place.'

    If you think that the death penalty should be abolished completely as in civilized countries, then I can't argue. If you're saying however that it should exist, but administered by government employees, then I completely disagree. There are three reasons to punish someone:
    1. He/She is dangerous to society and will continue to commit crimes if not restricted somehow (branded/jailed/sent to Australia/killed etc)
    2. To send a message to society to prevent would-be-criminals from violating the law (if you're caught pick-pocketing, we're going to lop your hand off...)
    3. To give solace to the victim or next of kin. (I think the extent of this should be dependent on the extent of the crime).

    The death sentence has some legitimacy under my points 2 and 3 above. It is potentially a higher deterrent from criminal activity than torture or a life prison sentence, and it may offer the victim fairer compensation, which is why I don't say it should be abolished, but it's certainly not somehow more humane to have it executed by state employees.
    For example: If someone steals $100 from me, then maybe he should have to give my $100 back and have to pay another $100 as punishment. An eye for an eye. If I'm feeling pious, I should have the right to give that $100 back to him, but it should be mine if I want it. If however, someone rapes and kills my child, then I don't think a "humane" firing squad or even having the state torture him to death (electric chair) would really satisfy his debt to me. Thus I propose I should be allowed to do pretty much whatever I want to him (I'd settle for stabbing through the eyes). If I'm feeling pious again, I could let him be, and the government could send him to Australia to protect society. The threat of me getting my choice in the matter should be deterrent enough.
    Having the state murder people at will though is just ridiculous. if even the victim doesn't want to do it, why should the government do it? Under my three conditions of punishment above, which I think you'll find logical, it makes much less sense than letting the victim do the deed.
  • 王望魍
    王望魍 wrote:
    death penalty logic:

    1) killing people is bad
    2) if you kill someone, we will kill you
    3) killing you shows others killing is bad
    4) we are good for killing you

    /what got lost in the hoopla of the shaikh case is the value societies (especially wanna-be, former and current superpowers) should be placing on human life.
  • Åse Marie Strand
    I am sensing some serious bias against the British in some of these posts. As an American, and remember the US was established when British colonies established in North America revolted when the colonists became feed up with the whole taxation without representation deal, I feel it is unfair to criticize the British for their imperialistic ways. If we look back through history, the establishment of Empires is not uncommon. What of the Romans, Persian Empire, and didn't the Chinese Empire conquer both Russia and Germany at one point. Let's face it, when we look at the history of things, there are a whole lot of countries sticking their thumbs into pies where they do not belong. Cut the British a break. We expect them to be a bit stiff, they're British.

    As for the overall issue being discussed here, I think that as an international traveler, the traveler must be aware of the laws in that country or risk breaking them and profound consequence. I travel frequently. I have heard stories from my friends living in Singapore that there are public hangings for offenders carrying less than a gram of marijuana on their person (an offense that is punished much more lightly within US borders). In my opinion, China has every right to punish the crime. The death penalty might be considered a little harsh and there will be differing opinions on it but who am I to judge Chinese drug policy. I think I will leave things of this nature to the residents of the country.

    Also, I can understand England's alarm about the execution. It's kind of a big deal when a citizen of one country violates the laws of another and is slotted for execution for it. Commenting on whether or not he was "duped" by gangs, I think that this is questionable; the whole he said she said problem comes into play here and when it comes down to it, I don't believe he could have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs were passed off to him by a drug lord or gangster- here's your sign.

    When I travel internationally, it's drug-free for a reason. Unless I'm in Amsterdam. Traveler's tip for the day: read up on the laws of the country you intend to visit. It's just plain smart.

  • Yuki Inés
    Yuki Inés wrote:
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Armchair criminologists, you all are.

    The death penalty is barbaric. We can find little disagreement on this point.

    That leaves its utility in preventing crime. Some people persist in the belief that it deters would-be criminals or it provides some sort of emotional release for victims' families. The first argument is a complete blunder. There's plenty of hard statistical evidence showing that it is false--the death penalty is an ineffective deterrent. The second is a crass insult to victims' families. When a family loses its father, killing the murderer provides a short lived sense of satisfaction that fades very soon. Providing a social safety net for a family that lost its primary wage earner would be far more effective.

    Anyway, neither of these rationales really apply to drug smuggling, because such a small fraction of these people will ever be caught, and furthermore it is a victimless crime.

    Mentally ill Britons aside, drug smugglers are very rational and intelligent people. Like legitimate businesspeople, they do a costs/benefits analysis and consider the consequences of their actions.

    Guess what?

    Running drugs is not only more profitable, but safer than working in a coal mine in Shanxi, even with the threat of the death penalty looming overhead.

    If drugs were made legal, the black market would crumble as they would become cheap as dirt. Addiction would be much more easily treated by professionals if the victims weren't afraid of jail time. There is no proof that legalization increases consumption, and countries that have decriminalized or legalized soft drugs have actually found that the opposite is true.
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    It's a lose-lose situation for all involved. Death penalty... the big problem is killing innocent people. At least in the US, we go through an extremely lengthy and expensive appeals process to ensure that people are justly convicted, and the cost of these proceedings is far greater than the value of the life of the guilty scumbag murderers or whatever criminals...

    It'd be far more effective to turn them into productive employees at a forced labor camp or something. But then if we turn prisoners into say factory workers, it puts legitimate workers out of a job. If we let them rot doing menial pointless labor for the sake of rehabilitation, it costs everyone else money.

    Hypothetically, if there was a 100% certain way of determining the guilt of a person and his state of mind, then death penalty without the lengthy and expensive appeals would be perfect. It's cheaper, less of a burden on society, works better than rehabilitation at removing offenders from society, and prison populations would be smaller. But since there is never a way to be 100% sure unless a room full of people and a security camera caught someone shooting up a school or something... and even in that case, the guy could claim insanity... so we have what we have, and whenever someone does something serious enough to warrant the death penalty, society has to pay however many hundreds of thousands of dollars "just to be sure."

    And yes, just in case I was too subtle about it... I am saying that yes, I think people who commit serious enough crimes should be executed because it's cheaper than keeping them alive. As it stands though, it's usually so expensive to make sure the guy is guilty that they might as well just keep him imprisoned. All about the $$$

    As far as drugs... legalization and education is so much more effective than persecution, I don't understand why more people don't realize this. Damage control programs like needle exchanges don't increase drug use, they just make druggies safer. If druggies are safer, the people they are sleeping with for drug money will be safer too and less likely to get AIDS, or whatever other needle related drugs are around. Win-win for everyone.

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