China / Society

Seven sentenced to death for drug smuggling

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-06-17 20:50

QINGDAO -- A court in east China's Shandong Province on Tuesday sentenced seven people in three cases to death for drug smuggling.

Three more of a total of 17 defendants were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve, Qingdao Municipal Intermediate People's Court said in a statement.

The remaining seven were given jail terms ranging from one year and four months to 15 years, it said.

The court handed down the harsh punishments to deter other drug dealers and to raise public awareness of the drug trade. The court said it would be lenient on first offenders, accomplices and those who either surrendered to police or were forthcoming with useful information.

Drugs have become a serious problem in the coastal city in recent years with more and more young people getting involved.

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