Posts by Webster Yin

  • OnPoint: Joggers in Saigon,

    The ironic thing about Locke's statement is, whether the death penalty is an effective deterrent or not, this is the Chinese government acting with the full support of the people. If anything, a democratic Chinese government would be even less likely to spare the death penalty.

    Maybe that is exactly the problem of the legal system/criminal justice in China (or is it also the truth in a democratic state?). A punishment is imposed not on the basis of how many lives an offense claims but on the reaction of the masses. When the case was first exposed by the media, an entailing harsh punishment could be foretold by those who live in China or who are familiar with China since this seems to be the best, if not the only, way to channel the anger of the enraged people in China.

    The media, thus, have played an interesting role. It was the media that brought the case into daylight and I couldn't imagine how brave those reporters were to do such a thing at the risk of losing their job (maybe more) in China. However, the subsequent overwhelming coverage has pushed the government into corner. There seems to be only one choice - death penalty - left for the government if they want to take control and justify their ruling. Had it not been for the media coverage, death penalty or life sentence would not have been the punishment. "media violence" ? - should we call it?
    double-edged weapon

    Since Feb 2009 • 1 posts Report Reply