Man with death penalty pronounced innocent
By Ma Lie (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-11 05:47
XI'AN: A farmer given the death penalty after being convicted of the rape and
murder of two girls has been cleared after three trials.
Gao Jinfa, 47, from Dali County, Shaanxi Province in Northwest China, was
originally sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve after a trial found him
guilty of assaulting the youngsters in October 2003.
It followed his attacks on the two girls in his village in 1999 and 2002
Gao was previously given a seven-year jail term in 1979 for raping another
Because of his past conviction, he was considered the prime suspect by Weinan
Municipal Intermediate People's Court for the latest attacks.
But after being sentenced, the judgment was later recalled by the higher
people's court for a retrial.
In February 2004, the intermediate court maintained that Gao was guilty and
sentenced him again to death with reprieve. But in turn the provincial higher
court sent the judgment back for the second time as it said some facts were not
clear, the higher court sources said.
In July last year Weinan Intermediate People's Court pronounced that Gao was
not guilty after the third trial, and Gao went home after 1,215 days of
imprisonment, said Geng Min, Gao's lawyer.
However, Weinan Municipal People's Procuratorate lodged a protest against the
judgment just days later.
The procuratorate, the public prosecutor of Gao's case, thought that the
procedure of the third trial was illegal and the court made mistakes relating to
evidence given during the hearing, said a local procurator who refused to tell
It emerged during the case that local police did not carry out DNA
examinations on the body of the 12-year-old girl who was raped and killed in
The case has now been finally closed after Shaanxi Provincial Procuratorate,
the higher authority of Weinan municipal procuratorate, recalled the protest and
the intermediate court's third judgment was enforced by the provincial higher
court, Gao's lawyer said.
He added he was preparing an application for State reparation for Gao to help
him rebuild his life.
Gao told China Daily: "I am completely free at last, after three years of
being detained and facing the death sentence."
He Yingmin, a local law expert, said that the result of Gao's case indicated
that China's law system has now been greatly improved.
(China Daily 01/11/2006 page3)