CHINA SENTENCES 14 GANG MEMBERS TO DEATH
June 21, 2007: a Chinese court has sentenced 14 gang members to death for murder and other violent crimes. The Shijiazhuang Intermediate People's Court in the northern province of Hebei handed down the sentence, one of the harshest in the country's recent history, Xinhua news agency said.
Ringleader Zhang Baoyi and his accomplices were convicted of 19 types of crimes, including running a gang, murder, mayhem, robbery and extortion. Four of the 14 death sentences would be suspended for two years, which could be normally commuted to life imprisonment on condition of good behaviour. Several other members of the gang also received fixed jail terms. The gang controlled freight truck shipping lines from the provincial capital Shijiazhuang to nearby cities using violence as it forcibly raised fees. (Sources: The Age, 22/06/2007)