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.