crimes that he did not commit, a man in Jilin province has received state compensation.fter spending nearly half of his life behind bars for
Jin Zhehong was awarded 4.68 million yuan ($657,000) in compensation on Friday. That amount was made up of two parts: 2.01 million yuan ($282,000) for mental distress and 2.67 million yuan ($375,000) for loss of personal freedom, the latter sum was calculated at a value of 316 yuan ($44) a day.
All told, Jin spent 8,452 days of his life in prison.
He was only 27 when he was arrested by police and charged with raping and murdering a young woman in the Jilin wilderness. Police said that Jin had picked up the 20-year-old woman as a hitchhiker before driving into the secluded countryside, raping her, killing her, throwing her body into a ditch, and burying the corpse.
In 1996, Jin was found guilty and sentenced to death with reprieve. In the next four years, his case was put under judicial review twice, both times ending in the same outcome.
However, in 2014, significant doubts about Jin’s guilt started to emerge with Chinese state media reporting that there were a number of inconsistencies in the police’s story. In fact, no evidence or eyewitnesses tied to Jin to the crime, only his confession, which Jin said that he made while being tortured by police.
The reports caused the province’s higher court to announce that the case would be reopened. However, it wasn’t until October 2018 that Jin finally got a new trial. The following month, the court overturned Jin’s conviction on lack of evidence, making him a free man after spending 23 years in prison.
”It’s still justice even though it comes too late,” Jin told reporters outside the courtside following the verdict. “All I want to do right now is visit my parents’ tomb.”
While he was in prison, Jin’s mother had died and his wife had remarried. Jin’s son was only 2 years old when his father was locked away. In the two decades since, the son estimates that he’s spent less than four hours combined with his dad.
In recent years, a number of convictions that were reached through false forced confessions in the 1990s in China have been overturned. Back in January, another man in Jilin province was also awarded 4.6 million yuan in compensation for spending 25 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit.