Cop Charged With Torture in Teen's Wrongful Execution

China arrests Feng Zhiming for coercing 18-year-old's confession in '96
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2014 1:02 PM CST
Cop Charged With Torture in Teen's Wrongful Execution
An 18-year-old executed for a crime he didn't commit in 1996 has been exonerated.   (Shutterstock)

On Monday, the conviction of an 18-year-old teen in China for the rape and murder of a woman in a public restroom was overturned—18 years after he was put to death for the crime. Today, the police officer who led the investigation into the case of young Huugjilt was arrested and charged with using torture to coerce the teen's confession, as well as with taking bribes and "dereliction of duty," Xinhua reports, via the AP. Feng Zhiming, who is now a deputy police chief in the city of Hohhot, and his fellow officers received a reward for wrapping up Huugjilt's case quickly, the New York Times reports. The teen was executed just two months after being found guilty for the crime, NPR notes.

A man described as a serial rapist and murderer confessed to the crime in 2005 but hasn't been tried yet (or executed for the other murders he's said to have committed), the Times reports. Chinese law enforcement tapping into torture methods to get confessions has been somewhat routine, but the public is especially irate about Huugjilt's case because Beijing recently declared it was going to keep everything on the up-and-up, the Times notes. Officials had held Huugjilt's overturned conviction up as an example of how they were trying to right old wrongs. (Ricky Jackson walked free when he was exonerated after 39 years in prison.)

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