Police Under fire

The police insisted it was a model bust. They'd stopped a taxi on its way into the industrial city of Lanzhou on the fringe of the Gobi Desert. While some officers pointed their guns at driver Jing Aiguo's temple, others retrieved from the back seat of the car nine plastic sacks containing three kilos of heroin. Jing had never run afoul of the law before, but the police—then engaged in one of China's periodic "Strike Hard" crime crackdowns—quickly obtained his confession. After a one-hour trial, the judge announced his sentence: death.

Before Jing could be executed, however, fortune...

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