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Wrongfully convicted man applies for more than 22m yuan in compensation

By Cao Yin | | Updated: 2023-06-07 21:26
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A man exonerated after spending more than 22 years in prison for intentional homicide has applied for over 22.67 million yuan ($2.9 million) in State compensation to a court in Henan province.

The application provided by Xie Zhehai, a native of Henan's Taikang county in Zhoukou city, was accepted by the Henan High People's Court last week, according to, a Shanghai-based news outlet on Wednesday. There was no word when a decision would be handed down.

Xie told the media that the compensation mainly includes 10.67 million yuan for his wrongful detention and 10 million yuan for his mental anguish due to torture during police interrogation.

He added that he also asked judicial authorities that had erred in convicting him to make a public apology to eliminate the negative effect of the wrongful conviction to his reputation.

The 51-year-old, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2000 for killing a woman four years prior, had his name cleared on Nov 30 last year after the high court overturned his conviction because the evidence in the case was insufficient.

Xie's trouble began on May 30, 1996, when a woman surnamed Wang, also from Zhoukou, was killed on her way home after attending a show at a theater. Local police said that Wang had been seriously beaten before death, naming Xie, then 25, a suspect after finding he had been out with friends around the theater that night. Soon, Xie was detained.

In February 2000, the Zhoukou Intermediate People's Court sentenced him to life in prison for intentional killing. Xie appealed to the high court, but the judgement was upheld in June of that year.

He didn't stop his appeals until he was freed in September 2018 after he had his sentence commuted. At that time, he had spent about 22 years and four months behind bars.

According to the Criminal Law, life sentences can be reduced if inmates abide by prison rules and exhibit good conduct, but the duration of the prison term cannot be less than 13 years.

After the release, Xie sought odd jobs to make a living, and his journey to clear his name never stopped.

In February 2019, he appealed to the high court once more, but the court again rejected him.

Xie then appealed to the Supreme People's Court, China's top court, and the Henan Provincial People's Procuratorate with the help of Qu Zhenhong, his lawyer.

In September 2020, the Henan high court decided to grant Xie a retrial, which was eventually held on Nov 24 last year. Six days later, the court handed down a new ruling, announcing Xie not guilty.

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