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The Supreme Court Upholds Death Verdict on Former Med Student

By Terry

Supreme Court in China recently upheld the death verdict passed unto a former medical student who had killed his roommate by poisoning, the family's lawyer confirmed on last Wednesday.

The defendant is named Lin Senhao. Xie Tongxiang, the attorney standing in for Lin's family, revealed that the defendant's father had, on last Tuesday, received a notice from a Shanghai court in which a judicial official informed him that the Supreme Court had upheld a lower court's verdict on the matter. He was also advised to see his son before last Friday.

Lin, 29, had received a death sentence following his first trial at Shanghai's intermediate Court in February 2014 for killing his roommate, Huang Yang. He was accused of carrying out this act by spiking Huang's water dispenser with a fatal poison at Fudan University in Shanghai. Huang died subsequently in April 2013 of liver, kidney and lung failure following two weeks of intense illness.

On Jan 8, Shanghai High People's Court stood by the death sentence and went on to submit its judgement to the nation's top court for consideration. The Supreme Court had approved of the death sentence also, Xie said. The top court's decision is necessary to ensure that such executions are carried out.

Huaxi Metropolis Daily made a report on Wednesday quoting Lin's father as saying Xie had indeed confirmed the top court's decision.

When correspondents from China Daily contacted the information office of the Supreme People's Court on Wednesday, they were only told that the court was "aware" of the news report but wouldn't confirm the court's decision. Subsequent phone calls to the court's criminal division had gone unanswered.

Huang Guoqiang, the father of the victim, Huang Yang, allegedly stated in the Legal Evening News in Beijing that he was relieved when he heard that the top court had upheld the death sentence, saying it was only fair that his son's murderer received such a verdict as a deterrent to others.

"We had a tomb sweeping for Huang Yang after we heard the news," the newspaper quoted Huang as saying.

Our correspondents could not, however, reach Lin Zunyao, the defendant's father but Huaxi Metropolis Daily carried a report in which he was quoted as saying he hadn't been able to sleep since the court's notice got to him and that he has gone to Beijing on last Wednesday.

"I was muddled and didn't know what to do," the paper quoted him as saying.

He also stated that his wife could neither sleep nor eat but rather spent all her day crying.

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