China’s supreme court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence given to a former university student who murdered a female classmate after first trying to rape her, reported The Paper, Sixth Tone’s sister publication.
The student, 25-year-old Li Sida, used to study at the Communication University of China in Beijing. He invited his 22-year-old victim to his apartment to shoot a video in August 2015, intending to rape her. When the woman resisted, Li cut her throat. He then lied to emergency services about her location, leaving her to bleed to death.
In December 2016, an intermediate court in Beijing sentenced Li to death. He appealed the verdict, but the Supreme People’s Court has rejected that appeal on the basis that Li did not voluntarily surrender and prevented his victim from being rescued. Li was reportedly apprehended at a hotel.
The victim’s father told The Beijing News that he was satisfied with the final verdict, which net users have also roundly supported. On microblog platform Weibo, one of the most upvoted comments reads: “A life for life.”
“Most Chinese currently still support the death penalty, especially when it comes to extreme murderers and corrupt officials,” Sun Yi, a senior criminal lawyer at Huatiancheng Law Firm in Shanghai, told Sixth Tone.
On Monday, state-owned China News Service reported that the National People’s Congress, the country’s legislature, plans to reduce the number of crimes punishable by death. Currently, there are 46 such crimes, down from 55 in 2015.
Sun argued that the government should also attach more importance to rehabilitating criminals, saying there should be more psychological counseling and reeducation. The current document outlining how the Chinese government rehabilitates prisoners has not been updated since 1992.
Editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.
(Header image: Li Sida, who was sentenced to death for murdering a female classmate, appears in court in Beijing, Dec. 30, 2016. Hao Yi/VCG)