The Intermediate People’s Court of Guangzhou, China, has began (on Feb 22) rehearing of the case of a 24-year-old Chinese who was sentenced for life imprisonment for taking cash from a malfunctioning automatic teller machine (ATM).

In April 2006, Xu Ting found out that an ATM of Guangzhou Commercial Bank was deducting only 1 yuan from his account for every 1,000 yuan withdrawn. Xu subsequently withdrew 175,000 yuan (US$24,000) in 171 transactions while his friend Guo withdrew 18,000 yuan.

Guo was jailed for a year after turning himself in while Xu remained on the run for a year before being caught in May 2007. He was sentenced to life for theft in the first trial in November 2007.

The sentence sparked an outcry from local media and legal experts. Many people said Xu did not deserve the life sentence, and I agree. [Xinhuanet, via Asianoffbeat]

What he did was wrong… but life sentence? You got to be kidding me. Hope that Xu will get a fair punishment at the end of the retrial… I guess with so many media attention, the court would make a more reasonable judgement this time.


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