Qiu Xinghua is escorted away for
execution after the appeal court upheld the death sentence in Shaanxi
Province December 28, 2006. [CFP]
At 9:57 am yesterday, Qiu Xinghua was executed with a single gunshot near a
river in Ankang, Shaanxi Province.
The 47-year-old farmer, who told the court "I must pay for what I did," paid
for it with his life for killing 11 people and seriously injuring two in July.
The final verdict, announced at 9 am by the provincial High People's Court,
dismissed Qiu's appeal, and said it was unnecessary to subject him to a
psychiatric examination citing lack of convincing evidence.
A high court source said that during the investigation, interrogation and
court hearings, Qiu dubbed the "Temple Killer" seemed to think and behave
During the hearing of the appeal in the second trial, Qiu stated that he was
normal and did not want a psychiatric examination.
The court found that Qiu killed 10 people in a temple near his home, because
he thought one of the victims flirted with his wife which was found to be not
Using an axe and knives, he hacked them to death while they were asleep at
As he was trying to flee, he robbed and killed another person and injured
Qiu was arrested in August and sentenced to death in October.
However, lawyers and scholars have voiced doubts about Qiu's mental state.
Liu Xiwei, a 73-year-old psychiatrist, made a written request to the
authorities asking for a psychiatric examination to be conducted as Qiu's
behaviour exhibited what he called typical symptoms of mental diseases.
Neighbours confirmed that Qiu's mother is mentally abnormal.
A defence lawyer's request for a psychiatric evaluation was made during the
second trial on December 8, but it was turned down. Three days later, five law
professors published an open letter in the media calling for Qiu to be
psychologically evaluated. They argued that if the request were not granted amid
rising misgivings, it would harm his rights.
"What we care about is not the specific case, but the integrity of the
country's judicial system," the experts said.
The Criminal Law stipulates that if a mental patient's actions when he is
unable to control himself lead to dangerous consequences, he shall not be held
However, some experts believe that Qiu was clear-minded while committing the
Li Meijin, a psychology professor at the Chinese People's Public Security
University, said Qiu filled in a psychological questionnaire which showed he was
in control of his faculties.
There has been some speculation that the provincial high court would not
deliver the final verdict before the year-end, as the Supreme People's Court
re-assumes the power of death penalty review from local high courts starting
January 1 a change aimed to exercise strict control over the