‘Vicious’ Killer of 11 Women Gets Death Penalty in China

‘Vicious’ Killer of 11 Women Gets Death Penalty in China Photo The verdict against Gao Chengyong, convicted of 11 murders that included rape and defiling corpses, was applauded in China. Credit Reuters BEIJING — Thirty years after Gao Chengyong embarked on a succession of 11 rape-murders of women in northwest China, a court sentenced him to death on Friday, following an investigation that involved sifting through 230,000 fingerprints.
The sentence by a court in Baiyin, a small city in Gansu Province, was not unexpected in China, which executes more prisoners than any other. But the verdict against Mr. Gao, 53, a farmer, itinerant worker and shopkeeper, was widely reported, and applauded, in China, where the killings drew intense attention.
“The motives for the defendant Gao Chengyong’s crimes were utterly despicable, the means were utterly vicious, the nature of the crimes utterly vile,” the court’s verdict stated, according to the China News Service, an official agency.
The court foun..

The Saturday Profile: Being Dead, He Learned, Is Hard to Overcome

Being Dead, He Learned, Is Hard to Overcome Photo Constantin Reliu, who was declared dead by a Romanian court, in the apartment in Barlad, Romania, that he used to share with his wife. Credit Andrei Pungovschi for The New York Times BARLAD, Romania — Reliu Constantin hadn’t been home in almost 20 years. His family had not heard from him in all that time, and he hadn’t sent any money back. All efforts to locate him in Turkey, where he had gone for work, had been fruitless.
Under the circumstances, it seemed entirely reasonable that his estranged wife asked a Romanian court to declare him legally dead. A death certificate was issued in 2016. The only problem was that Mr. Constantin was very much alive.
But that was just the beginning of Mr. Constantin’s troubles, as he discovered when he finally returned home in January. In a plot twist straight out of a Kafka novel, a different Romanian court this month refused to overturn his death certificate, leaving him in legal limbo, between life ..