China murder trial a rigged spectacle?
August 16th, 2012
03:38 PM ET

China murder trial a rigged spectacle?

By Donald Clarke, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Donald Clarke is a professor at George Washington University Law School. He founded Chinalaw, an Internet listserv, and writes the Chinese Law Prof Blog. The views expressed are his own.

The one-day trial of Gu Kailai in China on August 9th was, quite literally, a spectacle: something meant to be watched. (But not recorded, apparently, except by approval, even pencils were confiscated from the pre-selected audience.)

Gu, the wife of the fallen high-ranking Chinese politician Bo Xilai, had been charged in the death of Neil Heywood, a British businessman. Gu confessed to poisoning Heywood, allegedly because he threatened her son following a botched business deal.

The case has caught the attention of many because of the prominent status of the defendant and its steamy mix of allegations of murder, corruption, and even sex. But does it tell us anything new or interesting about the Chinese legal system? I think not.

Click here for the full Opinion piece

Post by:
Topics: China

« Previous entry
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. J. Foster Dulles

    That's a very good question. The Western right-wing media will say anything to discredit the Chinese justice system. On the other hand, back in 1951 the Federal Government managed to falsely convict both Julius and Ethal Rosenburg of selling atomic secrets to the Russians and eventually had them executed, so our own justice system is not so perfect, either!

    August 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Reply


      August 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
      • J. Foster Dulles

        Gee whiz Phunnie boy, what did I say that was so funny? You know that both Julius and Ethel Rosenburg were innocent, don't you? Anyone today with half a brain would know that was so. The problem then Phunnie boy, was that the nation needed a scape goat and found one in the Rosenbergs! There is nothing funny about executing innocent people, nothing at all!

        August 17, 2012 at 12:10 am |


        August 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • Joseph McCarthy

        Just ignore the idiot above, J. Foster. He's only an ignorant Tea Partier. Besides, goons like these couldn't care less about the guilt of innocence of anyone going to the electric chair or the gallows!

        August 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
      • Joseph McCarthy


        August 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • krm1007 ©™


      August 17, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
      • Patrick

        Gee Phunnie boy, where's my name? By the way, I agree with Joseph.

        August 18, 2012 at 3:37 am |
      • Joseph McCarthy/Quigley/LyndsieGraham/krm1007 ©™/Joe Collins/J. Foster Dulles

        I am a useless piece of camel dung. I post anti American, anti GB, anti semite, anti India, anti modern anything because I am a good moooooslem. I steal people's monikers because I am so ashamed of myself and post the most stupid comment. When people get angry with me, I claim insanity. I am the same guy.

        August 18, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  2. j. von hettlingen

    Gu Kailai had confessed. While many in her case would face death penalty, she could get away with less.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:33 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      That she was concerned for her and her son's safety justified for a degree of leniency.

      August 17, 2012 at 6:38 am | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        The politically sensitive issue – corruption – was not dealt with.

        August 17, 2012 at 6:39 am |

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

« Previous entry