- Legal News Updates
- Law Center
- Legal Business
- Court News Center
- Law Firm News
- Legal Interviews
- Headline News
- Political and Legal
- Practice Focuses
- Legal Spotlight
- Events & Seminars
- Legal Marketing
- Court Watch
- Immigration Law
- Media Center
- Justice Stories
- Court: Man can't be retried for murder after mistrial ruling
- Michigan Democrats back Nessel for state attorney general
- Question of sales tax on online purchases goes to high court
- Supreme Court again refuses to hear Blagojevich appeal
- Court hears case alleging unconstitutional 6th District gerrymander
- Maryland redistricting case comes before Supreme Court
- Courts weighing numerous challenges to political boundaries
- Arkansas wants court to dissolve stay for death row prisoner
- TransCanada doesn't have to pay landowner attorneys
- Martin Shkreli cries in court, is sentenced to 7 years for securities fraud
Nie Shubin was 20 at the time of his 1995 execution for crimes he was accused of committing in the northern city of Shijiazhuang in August of 1994. Another man, Wang Shujin, confessed to the crimes in 2005 while in police custody, although a legal review of the case did not get underway until 2014.
In its ruling, the court cited numerous examples of negligence and procedural errors by police and prosecutors, including the fact that Nie was singled out as a suspect "without a shred of evidence." It also said it couldn't rule out that Nie's testimony was coerced by torture or other means, a frequent accusation against the legal system that relies heavily on confessions to gain convictions.
China ordered speeded-up trials and executions during anti-crime campaigns in the 1990s, leading to frequent cutting of corners by legal authorities. Two years ago, another court ruled that 18-year-old Huugjilt, an ethnic Mongolian who was executed in 1996 for rape and murder, also was innocent after another man confessed to the crime. The court awarded Huugjilt's parents compensation.
However, under reforms in recent years, all death penalties are now automatically reviewed by the supreme court and the justices say executions are carried out only for the most heinous crimes. The exact number of people put to death is a state secret, but rights groups say China remains the world's top executioner.
Chinese legal scholar Xu Xin, a prominent advocate of legal reforms to reduce wrongful convictions, said Nie's case has emerged as highly representative of the country's problems with miscarriages of justice.
"In China's legal and social spheres, this case has garnered the greatest concern and has the most influence. Everyone's views on this case have basically been the same — that there was grave injustice," Xu said.
But the fact that it took this long for him to be exonerated shows the challenges ordinary people face in gaining legal redress in China, he said. "A vindication like this implies that compensation would have to be made, and someone could potentially be held responsible for the mistake, so that makes authorities unwilling to make an active push to correct the injustice," he said.
He credited the Chinese media, concerned defense lawyers and others who drew attention to the case for the court's overturning of the verdict, but said that the problem at the heart of the issue remained China's lack of an independent judiciary.
Legal News Media
Legal News Organization press is the top headline legal news provider for lawyers and legalprofessionals. Read law articles and breaking news from law firm's across the United States to get the latest updates. The content contained on the web site has been prepared by Legal News Media as a service to the internet
community and is not intended to constitute legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.