Southern Weekend Warns of Whitewash in Nie Shubin Wrongful Execution Case

May 9, 2005

On April 28, Southern Weekend published a detailed article arguing that the Nie Shubin wrongful execution case must be resolved, following rumors that the Hebei provincial government has concluded its investigation into the case and may not label the original verdict "incorrect." News that Wang Shujin, a suspect in a series of murders, voluntarily confessed to the 1994 killing for which Nie Shubin was executed 10 years ago has caused an uproar in recent months (see related stories 1, 2).

According to the Southern Weekend article, members of the official investigation team have provided no details on the investigation results, and local police officials involved in the case have removed information about Wang Shujin from the police Web site. Meanwhile, local police officials appear to be suggesting that Wang Shujin may be fabricating his story, or that Nie could still have been a co-conspirator in the murder. As the article notes, these arguments do not stand up to scrutiny. The article suggests that these arguments do not stand up to scrutiny, and that the real problem may be that police have no evidence other than his confession that Wang Shujin is the murderer. As such, they may fear that if they exonerate Nie posthumously and Wang changes his testimony at trial, they will be left without a convict. In addition, courts reportedly continue to rebuff efforts by Nie Shubin’s family to obtain a copy of their son’s original guilty verdict, which they need to file for a petition or retrial of Nie’s case.

Southern Weekend notes that the Nie case has recently been overshadowed by coverage of the She Xianglin wrongful conviction case.