Tuesday, April 05, 2011

He Had it Comin'

Late night, a young woman was hit by a car, and found dead at the scene hours later. What killed her was not the crash impact, but 8 fatal knife strikes. The driver struck two other pedestrians a couple of miles away in escape. The driver was stopped by people but let go by police because the other accident were minor.

Now, the driver was in jail on charge of murder. Despite initial rumor of a son of senior officials or super wealth family, he was raised up in a relative ordinary family. Well educated at home and in school, the young man was a talented art student. The only thing special can be recalled by his classmates are his obsessive with beauty and his own appearance. He spent all his money in cosmetics surgery and fashion gadgets.

The driver admitted he killed the woman because he noticed she was staring at his license plate. He said the woman looked like a poor farmer. He was afraid he might be blackmailed by a poor. According to the driver, he couldn't live with the mental burden and told his mother on the third day. His parents escorted him to the police.

The young woman was survived by her husband and a two years old son.

According to law, the driver would be sentenced to death for murder. It will be remembered as a tragedy of two families.

After court trail started last week in the Xi'an Middle-Level Court, the Chinese online community was agonized by obvious deliberated arrangement, seemingly to make excuse for the driver.

1) Initially, it was reported that the woman was stabbed 8 times on her left chest. The court only admitted 6, claiming the rest 2 wounds was caused by the woman's struggle.

Chicago, anyone?

"I'm not guilty -- just tryin' to protect mine
Ain't my fault you ran into my knife twenty times (He had it comin')"

2) Unprecedentedly, and court in China is not known for making precedents to start with, the Middle-Level Court of Xi'an allowed 500 people to attend the first day of trail, when they distributed a survey for opinions. The survey form read, to be used as sentencing reference.

Among the 500 allowed in the courtroom, 50 are the young woman's family and friends, 50 are media, and 400 are the driver's family and friends.

3) During the trail, the victim's family were banned from crying. WTF?

4) The driver's family were arranged to cry on CCTV, the national propaganda station for 60 minutes.

So we should feel sorry?

5) The government's No. 1 criminal psychologist, Professor and Third Commissioner Li Meijin of the Chinese People's Public Security University, was placed on the CCTV, to tell the nation that the driver killed the victim "in a fashion of playing notes on the keyboard", quote and unquote. Again, WTF?

Although many furious Netizens claimed the family's political connections or family wealth played a role, the Seagull remains judgement on the family factor. The father is a retired army colonel, the mother is a state employee. The family lives a good life, but by and large in line with other families or government employees. Assume there is nothing 'huge' we do not know, it is highly unlikely this family can access the court, CCTV or big shot mouthpiece for hire.

The only plausible explanation might be that 'the system' decided it is a worthy cause to protect such an average family of its own. Perhaps the system wants to send a message that as long as you stand with the right people, you are privileged and above those who don't. The questions now is at what cost?

One would have to be naive to believe in absolute justice, which had never been the reality in either theory or practice. However, Chinese people under the communist regime have reason to envy the justice system in the west, where often money talks, because there is a limit on what money can do while there is no limit to the absolute power the Communists Party holds.

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