Chinese authorities certainly know how to put on a spectacle, and as a result thousands flock to see the condemned moments before they are shot in the back of the head and dismembered for organs.
The authorities have a particularly uncompromising approach with respect to the condemned – crossing out their names with red ink certainly reinforces their point.
Chinese justice is of course swift, which the masses in more developed places tend to laud, but it is also imprecise and often targeted at those guilty of political crimes; just how many innocents are executed is not known. For that matter, even the total number of executions carried out is a state secret…
Below you can see the actual process of an execution, although of course 15 years and the need for organs has seen the process refined since then (mobile death vans are now in operation in parts of China, although they don’t help to recover organs by the sound of things).
Her story is an entertainingly macabre tale typical of rural China at its most unsavoury, so it is provided below:
The lady in question was apparently orphaned at an early age and kept on sufferance as a child of ill omen.
Once her mother died, her step-father drove her out, and she then lived on the street at the age of 13.
After being mauled by a dog, a hotel manager took pity on her and forced her into prostitution.
After a nationwide crackdown on prostitution in 1991, she was sent to a labour camp.
She was later returned to her step-father, who sold her for a thousand yuan as a bride.
She enjoyed a brief period of happy marriage to a kind invalid, but caught the eye of a powerful villager who forced her husband to sell her to him for 2,000 yuan.
For several years she was confined after repeatedly attempting to escape from her “marriage”.
When her master left on business, his two cousins took their chance to rape her, making her pregnant. One thought to buy her and keep the child.
When her master finally returned in 1995, she was sent back to him with a child, which enraged him. He tortured her into revealing the truth, and then slew both the father and the child.
Despair and rage finally took hold of her, and she took a sickle and killed her husband as he slept.
She was later arrested, but the court was uncharacteristically sympathetic, and resolved that she could be reformed in a labour camp.
However, for whatever reasons things did not go well and she murdered an inmate whilst there. She was sentenced to death, and her appeal rejected…
China is estimated to carry out as many as 10,000 judicial executions annually, easily leading the world in absolute numbers.