CHINA PAYS $11.56 A DAY TO WOMAN WRONGLY JAILED
January 16, 2008: China has awarded exactly 66,593.36 yuan ($9,200) compensation to a woman who was wrongfully convicted of murdering her ex-husband and jailed for over two years, local media reported.
It was a 10th of what she had asked for and calculated according to 796 days behind bars at the 2006 national average wage of 83.66 yuan ($11.56) a day, the paper said.
Liu Cuizhen, from Xinzhou in the northern province of Shanxi, was detained in 2003 after her ex-husband, surnamed Jiang, died in her house, the Shanxi Youth Daily said in a report carried in the Beijing News.
A local court convicted her of murder and passed a suspended death sentence in 2004, after Xinzhou prosecutors handed the case back to police twice, citing a lack of evidence, the paper said.
Suspended death sentences in China are usually commuted to life imprisonment after two years of good behaviour.
The ruling was thrown out on appeal a few months later, but Liu was again convicted of murder at another trial in October 2004 and sentenced to death.
Liu appealed to the Shanxi provincial high court which quashed the ruling in July 2005, and threw out the case, citing a lack of evidence.
Liu was released after spending 796 days behind bars, and lodged a compensation claim seeking 600,000 yuan from Xinzhou Intermediate Court and the city's prosecutions office.
The Shanxi provincial court ordered the Xinzhou court and prosecutor's office to pay 66,593.36 yuan compensation instead. (Sources: Reuters, 16/01/2008)