Qian Renfeng, a former nurse from Yunnan, has been compensated 1.72 million yuan after being wrongly imprisoned for the last 14 years on a murder charge.
According to CNR, the court declared that Qian’s confession had been made under duress and that she was not responsible for the murder she was convicted for back in February 2002.
Qian used to work as a nurse at a local kindergarten. One of her duties was to prepare the children’s meals each day. On February 22nd, 2002, a toddler got sick and died of food poisoning, two other children were also hospitalzed. Qian later “confessed” that she had mixed rat poison into the kids’ food.
On September 3rd, 2002, a local court sentenced Qian to life in prison. Qian tried to appeal the decision up to the Yunnan Supreme Court, but all appeals failed and she has spent the past 14 years behind bars.
Still, Qian never stopped fighting to regain her freedom. Finally, in May 2015, the Yunnan procuratorate ruled that there was a lack of evidence to support her conviction, and advised that the supreme court should rehear the case. The Yunnan Supreme Court did just that and also discovered a lack of evidence to determine guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Qian was allowed to go free late last year.
In June of this year, Qian requested compensation for her time spent behind bars from the Yunnan Supreme Court. In the end, Qian received around 1.72 million yuan ($260,000) in compensation for her wrongful conviction and imprisonment. That’s a little over 120,000 RMB ($18,000) a year. At least she got free room and board for all that time.
Additionally, Tian Chengyou, the vice chief judge of the Yunnan Suprme Court apologized to Qian on behalf of the court with a symbolic bow.
Still, Qian doesn’t think that a bow and 1.72 million yuan is enough to make up for the 14 years she lost. It actually doesn’t seem like she made out too bad. Last year, the parents of a teenager who was wrongfully convicted and executed received 2 million yuan in compensation only 18 years after their son’s death. Also, last January, a prisoner on death row was cleared of a double-murder charge, he received 1.14 million RMB for the 8 years he spent in prison.
By Sophie Wang
[Images via Weibo, CNR]