The story appears on

Page A2

September 5, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Death-row driver may get lighter sentence

PROSECUTORS in southwest China have taken the unusual step of asking for a more lenient sentence in an appeals case involving the country's first defendant sentenced to death for a fatal drunk-driving accident, arguing that the court's ruling in the initial trial was "too heavy."

Prosecuting attorneys told the Sichuan Province Higher People's Court that Sun Weiming, who crashed into a car and killed four people on December 14 in provincial capital Chengdu, does not deserve immediate execution.

Sun was intoxicated while driving at speeds up to 138 kilometers per hour when the accident occurred. The 30-year-old company executive was also driving without a license.

The victims were members of a family and friends who were returning from a birthday party.

Sun apologized to the victims' families who were attending yesterday's hearing.

"I know limited compensation cannot make up for the deaths," he said. "I hope I can have a chance to atone for my actions."

The Chengdu Intermediate People's Court sentenced Sun to death on July 23 on charges of endangering public security because of the large death toll. The heavy sentence also came as China was reeling from a series of fatal accidents involving alcohol and high speeds.

Under Chinese law, people found guilty of endangering public security face sentences ranging from 10 years in prison to death.

The prosecutors said yesterday that the first sentence was too severe as Sun had called for doctors after the accident, a sign of his "good attitude." They also pointed out that the Sun family agreed to pay the victims' survivors 1 million yuan (US$146,400) in compensation.

Zhang Zhiyu, one of the victims' family members, said he did not expect the sharp turn in the prosecutors' attitude. Other victims' families said they would appeal if the higher court changes the death ruling.

The prosecutors did not say whether their present stance represents a change of heart; or if it does, why it occurred.

The higher court said it will hand down a verdict at a later date, without giving details.

Police launched a two-month crackdown against drunk driving in August following a series of fatal accidents involving pedestrians and tipsy motorists.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend