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Man executed for killing 2 at coronavirus checkpoint

By CAO YIN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-07-09 14:05

Ma Jianguo, who killed two people at a roadblock set up to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, was executed in Yunnan province after China's top court approved his death penalty.

The intermediate people's court in Honghe prefecture of the province announced the decision made by the Supreme People's Court to Ma on Thursday, and permitted him to meet his family members before the execution.

Ma, a native of Luomeng village in Azhahe township of the prefecture, was sentenced to death by the intermediate people's court in the prefecture on March 1 after being convicted of killing two workers responsible for preventing and controlling the outbreak on Feb 6.

Ma, with another resident, went to the roadblock in a minivan, and the second man tried to move the barricades and refused to obey the workers in charge.

Ma was unhappy when Zhang Guizhou, one of the workers, used his mobile phone to record the scene, and Ma stabbed Zhang in the chest and abdomen with a knife. When Li Guomin, the other worker, came to intervene, Ma then stabbed Li in the abdomen. Both the workers died.

Ma disagreed with the ruling and appealed to higher court. But his appealing was rejected by the Yunnan High People's Court on March 30, and the death penalty was submitted to the nation's top court for review under the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law at the same time.

After the review, the top court said in a statement issued on Thursday that Ma's behavior has constituted the crime of intentional homicide, and the killing was "extremely serious" with greatly negative effect to the society.

The top court also identified Ma as a recidivist and should be given harsher punishment, because he reoffended within five years after serving a prison term for intentional injury.

Although Ma turned himself in after killing the two workers, "it's not strong enough for him to be leniently punished," the top court said.

The death sentence made by the lower courts was based on clear facts and sufficient evidence, and the law applications and procedures of the case were also correct and legitimate, it added.

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