China’s top court on Friday cleared a man executed 21 years ago for murder — more than a decade after another man confessed to the killing — in the latest miscarriage of justice in the Communist-ruled country.
Nie Shubin was 20 years old when he faced a firing squad in 1995, two days after being convicted of rape and murder.
”The Supreme People’s Court believes that the facts used in the original trial were unclear and the evidence insufficient, and so changes the original sentence to one of innocence,” it said in a statement on a verified social media account.
Overseas rights groups say China executes more people than any other country, but Beijing does not give figures on the death penalty, regarding the statistics as state secrets.
But the time, method and motive for the murder could not be confirmed, and key documents related to witnesses and the defendant’s testimony were missing, the supreme court said.
Nie’s family had been campaigning for justice since a serial murderer arrested in 2005 confessed to the killing. But the case was only formally reopened in 2014.