Court rehears crime case
The Second Circuit of the Supreme People's Court is rehearing a case after three defendants claimed that the evidence for their convictions was insufficient and the legal procedures were wrong.
Three judges of the court, which is based in Shenyang, Liaoning province, came to Changchun Intermediate People's Court in Jilin province to hear the case.
The defendants, Sun Baoguo, Sun Baodong and Sun Baomin - all brothers - did not plead guilty during the retrial, saying that the original judgments were made with unclear facts and insufficient evidence.
The original case involved 16 defendants, who were convicted of several criminal charges, including homicide and blackmail.
Sun Baoguo said that he was tortured during the investigation, and his youngest brother, Sun Baomin, also provided new evidence against his blackmail conviction.
"We hope the circuit court reviews our case carefully, giving us a fair judgment," the three said.
The Jilin Provincial High People's Court in 2012 sentenced Sun Baoguo to death with a two-year reprieve for convictions on 13 charges including homicide and leading a gang. Sun Baodong received a sentence of 19 years and Sun Baomin was given 10 1/2 years in jail.
However, the brothers disagreed that previous sentences for offenses in 1996, as well as the judgment for the first trial in 2011, should affect their latest sentences "as they have been finished and we've served the punishment already".
In 1996, Sun Baoguo and Sun Baodong struck several passers-by during a dispute at a railway station in Liaoning, causing one death and four injuries.
They were found guilty of intentional injury in 1997 at a Liaoning court and given short sentences.
The two brothers were brought to court again in 2011 on allegations of organizing and leading a gang to blackmail others, and for disturbing the public order. Sun Baomin was also involved in the alleged blackmail.
The top court set up two circuit courts in 2015 to ease its burden and to prevent local governments from interfering in cases. One court is in Shenyang, and is in charge of cases in Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Jilin provinces, while the other is in Shenzhen, serving cases in Guangdong and Hainan provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.