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Man gets death for killing 6 villagers

A FARMER who killed six villagers and injured another has been sentenced to death in central China's Hubei Province, despite his confirmed mental disorder.

Zhang Jinfu, 43, a farmer in Xuyang village in Jingmen City, killed two brothers in their 60s, a couple in their 50s, their elderly mother and a seven-year-old boy last August, the Intermediate People's Court in Jingmen said yesterday.

The man carried out the attacks with a sickle and rice cutter.

The boy's mother, Xu Lizhen, was severely injured when she tried to rescue her son, the court said. Zhang was captured by police while attempting to flee the scene.

Expert testimony by Hubei Provincial People's Hospital said Zhang was a schizophrenic. But the court found that Zhang intentionally committed the murders.

Under China's criminal law, if a mental patient who has not completely lost the ability to recognize or control his conduct commits a crime, he must bear criminal responsibility, but he may be given a lighter punishment.

If the mental illness is intermittent, any person who commits a crime when he is lucid bears criminal responsibility, according to Chinese law.

The death penalty is applied to criminals who have committed extremely serious crimes. All death sentences are required to be reviewed and approved by the Supreme People's Court.


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