Legal Representation

Zhao Zuohai: Beaten, Framed and Jailed for a Murder that Never Happened

By Clifford Coonan / The Independent, on 1 January 2010

The first act took place in 1999, when the dirt-poor farmer from Henan province had a violent argument with a fellow peasant, Zhao Zhenshang. His opponent, no relation despite a shared surname, disappeared into thin air. Later a headless, decomposed corpse was found in a well, and produced as evidence of Zhao Zuohai’s murderous deed. He was tortured, forced to confess and received the inevitable death sentence, before eventually winning a reprieve from the firing squad and having his sentence commuted to a 29-year jail term.

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