A young woman, who was sentenced to four years in prison after she stabbed to death an older man who sexually assaulted her, has many netizens on her side while some experts suggest she went too far and got what she deserves.
The Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court, Guangdong Province, Monday sentenced Xuan Xiaoqi, 19, for intentional homicide for killing Yang Jinyuan, according to media reports.
On May 28 last year, Xuan went to the Guangzhou railway station, where she met Yang, who was over 50 and worked as a porter, the Guangzhou-based New Express reported.
Xuan bought a ticket for Xiamen, Fujian Province, for next day, but had little money for a hotel room that night. Yang invited her to stay at his apartment in the city's Yuexiu district.
Xuan told police that Yang sexually assaulted her and threatened to kill her if she tried to leave. Xuan grabbed a knife and planned to use it to "frighten Yang."
Yang persisted with his assault, and during their scuffle Xuan first stabbed the man on his clavicle. When Yang tried to wrestle the knife away, the woman received a leg wound. She was able to regain control of the knife and stabbed Yang's chest, neck and head. After Yang fell to the floor, Xuan continued to stab Yang until he stopped moving.
The court found that Xuan was justified in defending herself but committed intentional homicide by continuing to stab Yang after he fell to the ground.
Most online comments feel the sentence was too heavy and believe the woman had the right to defend herself. Some said her four-year sentence was incomprehensible.
A Chinese netizen "acesage" argued that people have to be law experts to know when they are protected by law and when they are breaking it.
Some law experts, who support the court, said that the woman was initially justified in defending herself but stabbing the man after he fell constituted an intention to kill him.
"When the man was unable to continue his attack, she attacked him," Qu Xinjiu, a criminal law professor with the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times.
However, Chen Tao, a lawyer with the Criminal Law Committee of the Beijing Lawyers Association, said the sentence was too heavy as Xuan could not judge whether Yang could still attack her, adding that Xuan should have been given a suspended sentence.
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