Friday, January 14, 2011

Imagine if Atlanta's toll thieves got this sentence.........

A Chinese court announced Friday it will retry a farmer sentenced to life in prison for evading highway tolls after a massive public outcry over his heavy punishment.  The court in central Henan province had sentenced Shi Jianfeng to life imprisonment for fraud for avoiding highway tolls that added up to more than 3.68 million yuan ($560,000), the official Xinhua News Agency reported. He was also fined 2 million yuan ($302,000).

Shi mounted fake military license plates on his two trucks so they could avoid paying tolls more than 2,300 times between May 2008 and January 2009 when he ran a business transporting gravel. Military vehicles don't have to pay highway tolls.  News of the verdict triggered an uproar among Chinese who argued in online postings and commentaries that shorter sentences were given out for the more serious crimes of rape or murder. The comments also strayed beyond Shi's case to popular complaints that highway tolls are too high, especially for a farmer.

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