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Chinese man appeals death sentence for killing 8

A man who was convicted of killing eight people, including a 2-year-old boy, has formally appealed the death sentence handed down Monday by a central China court, officials said today.

The Intermediate People's Court of Suizhou in Hubei Province said Xiong Zhenlin, 35, appealed against the death sentence yesterday.

In his appeal, handed in to court officials who delivered the written verdict to him, Xiong said he "drank himself into a stupor" before the killings and deserved leniency for his "good attitude" in confessing to the crime, a court spokesman told Xinhua.

The spokesman said the appeals court ruling would be announced within 45 days.

Xiong, a junk collector, killed eight people in Luoyang Township, Suizhou City, on Jan. 4 and was arrested in the provincial capital Wuhan a week later.

The victims included five employees of Xiong's junkyard, a local resident who came to sell waste goods and saw blood stains in the junkyard, a 43-year-old woman named Zhu Deqing whom Xiong hoped to marry and Zhu's grandson, according to the prosecution.

The murderer, who divorced last September, decided to revenge himself on society after his hopes of remarrying again, either to his ex-wife or Zhu, were thwarted, the prosecution said.

Local police said Xiong's crimes were also motivated by financial difficulties and his psychological state.

"Xiong committed the murders out of mean and abominable motives. The way in which he perpetrated his crime was cruel beyond measure," the prosecution said.

It said the crime was "extremely grave" and had a very negative impact on society.

"There can be no leniency for his crime," the prosecution said.

Under Chinese law, all death sentences must be reviewed by the Supreme People's Court before being carried out.


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