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Baby-trafficking doctor's suspended death sentence sparks controversy

English.news.cn   2014-01-15 17:48:14

Zhang Shuxia (2nd R), an obstetrician in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, who is involved in a baby trafficking scandal, is escorted off the Weinan Intermediate People's Court in Weinan, Shaanxi Province, Jan. 14, 2014. Zhang was sentenced to death with a two years' reprieve on Tuesday for trafficking seven babies, a local court said. (Xinhua/Li Yibo)

XI'AN, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The suspended death sentence of a baby-trafficking doctor announced Tuesday has brought nationwide controversy, with some netizens calling for stiffer punishment while experts say the penalty is justified.

Zhang Shuxia, an obstetrician in Fuping County in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, was found guilty of selling seven newborn babies to human traffickers for as much as 21,600 yuan (about 3541 U.S.dollars) from 2011 to 2013.

Zhang tricked the parents into giving up their babies by convincing them the newborns had congenital diseases and were incurable.

One baby girl died after Zhang sold her to a human trafficker. Another six were rescued by police and returned to their parents.

Many Chinese Internet users called for a tougher punishment, saying the death penalty should be carried out immediately as her actions had led to the death of a baby and brought shame to the medical profession.

However, legal experts said Zhang's sentence was already severe enough.

Chen Jingchun, an associate professor from the Criminal Law School of the Northwest University of Politics and Law, said that Zhang had abducted more than three children, making it one of the most serious crimes under the law. However, she confessed and helped police rescue some of the abducted babies.

"She was still given a severe punishment on the grounds that she had violated both her professional and social ethics and had caused an 'extremely bad social impact,'" said Chen. "The court believes that the penalty is enough to punish the criminal while warning others at the same time."

The baby girl died after the trafficker threw her into a garbage ditch, presuming she was dead.

The court ruled that Zhang was not guilty in the child's death, but was partly responsible.

Yu Guiying, also a professor at the Criminal Law School of the Northwest University of Politics and Law, said that Zhang had sold several babies, which accounted for one of the aggravating circumstances in her case.

According to the evidence, there was no direct link between Zhang's behavior and the baby's death, therefore the other aggravating circumstance in her case could not be proven, said Yu.

"If Zhang were sentenced to death to be carried out immediately, the penalty would be under suspicion of improper punishment," Yu said.

So far, it is unclear if Zhang will appeal.

Related:

Baby-trafficking doctor given suspended death sentence

XI'AN, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Zhang Shuxia, an obstetrician in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, was sentenced to death with two years' reprieve on Tuesday for trafficking seven babies.

Zhang, a doctor with Fuping County Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, was found guilty of selling seven babies, one of whom later died, to human traffickers after persuading their parents to give up their "sick" newborns, according to the Weinan Intermediate People's Court. Full story

Doctor severely punished for baby trafficking

XI'AN, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Zhang Shuxia, an obstetrician in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, was sentenced to death with a two years' reprieve on Tuesday for trafficking seven babies, a local court said.

Zhang, a doctor with Fuping County Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, is accused of selling seven babies, one of whom later died, to human traffickers after persuading their parents to give up their "sick" newborns, according to the Weinan Intermediate People's Court. Full story

More suspects in baby trafficking case to stand trial

XI'AN, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- More suspects involved in the case of an obstetrician trafficking seven babies, one of whom died, will go on trial on Monday in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The People's Court of Linwei District in Weinan City on Sunday confirmed the scheduled trial to Xinhua, but refused to release the identities of the suspects. Full story

Doctor admits trafficking babies

BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhuanet) -- An obstetrician admitted trafficking seven infants, including a baby who died after she was sold, when she appeared in court in Shaanxi Province yesterday.

Zhang Shuxia, 55, persuaded several parents to give up their newborn babies by convincing them they had “fatal congenital diseases.” Then she sold babies to traffickers, prosecutors said. Full story

Baby stealing obstetrician on trial in China

XI'AN, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- An obstetrician's involvement in baby trafficking and criminality across many provinces, exposed by a court in northwest China's Shaanxi Province on Monday, has hit a national nerve.

The case before Weinan Intermediate People's Court is that Zhang Shuxia, a doctor with Fuping County Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, sold seven babies, one of whom died, to human traffickers after persuading their parents to give up their "sick" newborns. Full story

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