China Sentences Bo Xilai to Life
Onetime party boss will likely appeal, and lose
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2013 9:06 AM CDT
Chief judge Wang Xuguang reads the verdict in Bo Xilai's trial in Jinan, in eastern China's Shandong province, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jinan Intermediate People's Court)
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(Newser) – Capping a dizzying downfall, a Chinese court has slapped onetime political rock star Bo Xilai with a life sentence in prison after convicting him of corruption and abuse of power. "Bo Xilai was a servant of the state, he abused his power, causing huge damage to the country and its people," said the court in a statement. "The circumstances were especially serious." Though Bo will probably appeal, and has 10 days to do so, notes Reuters, overturning the sentence within the party-run court system is extremely unlikely, effectively killing any chance of mounting a political return. The life term surprised some experts in its severity, but Bo did dodge the death penalty—if only because Beijing wanted to avoid making a martyr of him. His trial had its share of dramatic moments.