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Man exonerated from murder after 6 years in jail

GUANGZHOU, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- A man in south China's Guangdong Province has been exonerated after serving six years in jail for murder, in the latest move by China's judicial authorities to correct wrongful convictions.

Chen Zhuohao, 29, was arrested in 2009 on suspicion of murdering his ex-girlfriend in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, and was later sentenced to a suspended death penalty. He appealed the case insisting his innocence.

The Higher People's Court of Guangdong invalidated supposed proof of Chen's crime and suggested that he had been forced to confess, citing illegality in Chen's questioning, the incomplete interrogation footage and falsified signatures on his health checks during his arrest.

Lin Xiuxiong, a trial committee member of the court, said slack supervision of proof collection had been a major cause of China's wrongful convictions in recent years.

The Chinese government in June released a white paper highlighting improvement in judicial justice and transparency thanks to judicial reforms. It said courts nationwide reheard 1,317 cases and corrected a number of wrongful ones in 2014.

One high-profile wrongful conviction involved a rape-murder case in 1996 by an Inner Mongolian court, in which an 18-year-old man named Huugjilt was convicted and executed. In December 2014, 18 years later, he was posthumously acquitted of the crimes, and his parents received state compensation of more than 2 million yuan (327,060 U.S. dollars).

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