The Last 12 Hours of Chinese Women Prisoners on Death Row

A Chinese woman sentenced to death is escorted by guards to her execution.

The final 12 hours of Chinese women prisoners condemned to death.

From ifeng:

The last 12 hours of female prisoners condemned to death

On the eve of the 2003 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the lives of four female drug dealers in the city of Wuhan were coming to an end. With the permission of the relevant departments and the subjects themselves, on 9pm on 2003 June 24th, this press photographer walked into the Wuhan No. 1 Detention Center and captured their last night spent at the detention center.

A Chinese woman sentenced to death tries on new clothes on the eve of her execution.

June 24th night, Wuhan No. 1 Detention Center, condemned drug trafficker Dai Donggui tries on an outfit for her to wear before her execution, purchased for her by the female police in accordance with her request.

A condemned Chinese woman prisoner folds her new clothes on the night before her execution.

Condemned drug dealer Dai Donggui folded her new clothes and put it neatly at the head of her bed. The new clothes were purchased by the woman police officer in accordance with her request to be her pre-execution outfit.

A Chinese woman sentenced to be executed the next day eats a bowl of green mung bean soup.

9:30pm, condemned drug trafficker Dai Donggui prepares to have green bean soup. The McDonald’s food on the stool that is uniformly given [to the condemned convicts] had not been eaten yet.

A female prison guard feeds a condemned inmate on death row a lychee.

A female police officer feeds a lychee to condemned drug dealer Dai Donggui who will soon be escorted to the execution grounds.

A fellow prison inmate records a condemned woman's final words on the eve of her execution in Wuhan, China.

10:15pm, an ordinary convict helps record condemned drug trafficker Li Juhua’s last will and testament.

A group of female Chinese inmates spending time with two women in their finals hours before they are to be executed.

10:07pm, under the watch of two female police officers, ordinary convicts play card games with condemned drug dealers He Xiuling and Ma Qingxiu.

A convicted drug dealer sentenced to be executed in hours spends her final hours with fellow inmates at a detention facility in Wuhan, China.

Condemned drug trafficker He Xiuling. Throughout the entire night, He Xiuling looked a little excited and exaggerated.

A condemned Chinese woman prisoner momentarily shows her lively side with fellow inmates in the final hours before her execution.

Condemned drug dealer He Xiuling with prison guards and ordinary prisoners on the night before her execution, from time to time, revealing her natural lively side.

Sentenced to be executed in the morning, condemned drug trafficker He Xiuling spends her final ours with prison guards and fellow inmates.

Inside a temporary cell, condemned drug dealer He Xiuling accompanied by prison guards with ordinary prisoners.

Condemned Chinese female prisoner He Xiuling tries on her new shoes on the night before her execution.

Female prisoner He Xiuling tries on her new shoes, preparing for her trip to the netherworld.

A fellow inmate feeds He Xiuling some dumplings as a late night snack, on the eve of her execution for drug trafficking crimes.

An ordinary female prisoner feeds condemned prisoner He Xiuling dumplings for a late-night snack. 25-year-old He Xiuling is from Xiantao city of Hubei province, and was sentenced to death for illegally carrying 7,000 grams of narcotics/illegal drugs.

Condemned Chinese female prisoner He Xiuling cries while singing on her last night.

10:40pm, condemned drug trafficker He Xiuling is singing, her voice begging the Heavens to give her another chance, to go back and change her fate.

In Wuhan, China, an inmate brings water to a prisoner who will be executed that morning.

June 25th morning 5:40am, Wuhan No. 1 Detention Center is silent. An ordinary female prisoner is bringing water to the condemned prisoner temporarily held in the interrogation room so she may wash her face.

A fellow prisoner applies bright red nail polish to the toes of a convict to be executed in hours.

6:00am, a female police officer and an ordinary female convict are helping condemned drug dealer Li Juhua apply bright red nail polish to her toes.

A Chinese woman scheduled to be executed bequeathes her clothes to another inmate.

6:07am, before her execution, condemned drug trafficker Ma Qingxiu (third from right) instructs that her clothes be given to an ordinary inmate who needs clothes.

A prison guard finds a black shirt for He Xiuling, who felt the white shirt made her look fat.

6:11am, condemned drug dealer He Xiuling is trying out her clothes before her execution. As the time of her execution drew closer and closer, He Xiuling felt the white top made her look fat, so the head of the detention center found a black top for her.

Two Chinese female prisoners condemned to be executed eat their final breakfast meal, which includes a McDonald's taro pie.

6:17am, condemned drug dealers He Xiuling and Ma Qingxiu eat their very last breakfast. Ma Qingxiu is eating shredded pork rice noodles, while He Xiuling is eating the McDonald’s food she had not eaten the night before.

He Xiuling, a condemned woman prisoner breaks down and cries as her execution nears.

6:29am, condemned drug dealer He Xiuling crying befoer her execution.

A prison guard brings gel specifically for He Xiuling to use on the day of her execution.

6:30am, before her execution, condemned drug dealer He Xiuling applying gel to her hair. The head of the detention center specifically brought gel for He Xiuling, for which He Xiuling gratefully smiled.

He Xiuling, a Chinese female prisoner convicted of drug crimes and sentenced to death faces her looming execution.

7:00am, seeing that her time has come, condemned drug dealer He Xiuling breaks into tears.

A condemned Chinese woman is led out of her prison cell by prison guards in Wuhan, China, on her way to her execution.

The last condemned inmate Ma Qingxiu walks out of her the prison cell. 49-year-old Ma Qingxiu is from Baokang county of Hubei province, and was sentenced to death for trafficking over 2,300 grams of illegal drugs on four occasions.

Female prison guards in a line to send off their condemned prisoners.

7:00am, the female police officers of Wuhan No. 1 Detention Center lined up to send off the four condemned drug dealers.

Chinese female prison guards escorting a condemned prisoner to her execution.

7:21am, two tall judicial police escort the last condemned drug dealer Ma Qingxiu out of the detention center.

Chinese prison guards at a Wuhan detention center take off a condemned prisoner's handcuffs and legcuffs.

Prison guards take off the condemned drug dealer’s handcuffs and legcuffs for the judicial police to put on new chains.

A Chinese woman sentenced to death is escorted by guards to her execution.

9:45am, in Hubei Wuhan, at the site of public sentencing, condemned drug trafficker He Xiuling cries. Among the twenty some condemned prisoners, she is the only prisoner to cry on the scene. She was the youngest.

Chinese prisoners sentenced to death being escorted to their execution.

Hubei Wuhan, at the public sentencing, the condemned prisoners are escorted to the execution grounds. At the front is condemned drug dealer He Xiuling.

Comments from ifeng:


Die early and be reincarnated early. Why did you count on your luck when you were trafficking drugs back then!? Leaving this kind of person in the world is simply another piece of filth.


Life is actually very simple, it’s just that zero point zero something second of time.
However, the corrupt officials that are even worse than them are even more, the harm even greater. Now they are the ones who should really be cleaned [out of society].


With drug trafficking having harmed so many people, even though it is easy to be compassionate when life is about to end, they are still unable to get my sympathy.


Abolish the death penalty.

凤凰网广东省广州市网友:一箭168 (responding to above)

Do you know how many families and children her drugs have killed?


When I think of those people whose lives have been ruined by drugs and would be better off dead, death is not a sufficient for the crimes of these female prisoners who have killed others for profit in their drug trafficking. Lethal injection is letting them off too easy. They should be shot ten times.


Drug trafficking is indeed detestable, but being sentenced to death for just carrying 7000 grams of drugs… Then what about that guy on the TV news several days ago who had committed 9 major crimes? Just one of his crime should be a death sentence. Drug trafficking, raping underage girls, gun possession, organized prostitution, organized crime… which one of these is not enough for the death penalty??? But he was only sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined 650,000. The country’s laws truly are sound, or does it discriminate between people??


If one could foretell the present, one wouldn’t have had the past. I hate those drug traffickers, they definitely should be seriously punished.


After reading through this, I feel very conflicted. If [the country] were really as Xinwen Lianbo describes it, that the people have become prosperous, who would still be willing to go traffic drugs? These drug trafficking women may have only wanted to give their own children a better life, may have only wanted to allow their own parents to live a better life in their final years. It is those corrupt officials’, those useless officials’ fault, not truly working to improve the ordinary common people’s livelihoods.


Why aren’t the major corrupt official the ones to be sentenced to death?


I don’t know why but after looking through these photos I cried! I’m very emotionally conflicted! After all, they are people too, but I just don’t know what to say. Another point: Nothing happens to those corrupt officials who have committed greater crimes than them. So think, if they were the relatives of high officials, would they still have been given the death sentence?


Corrupt officials should be publicly sentenced, and corrupt officials should be shot. They are the trash that is most deserving of going to hell.


I truly have a kind of very conflicted feeling that is difficult to put in words.


Drug traffickers buried their conscience for profit, killing many innocent ordinary common people, so getting the death penalty is their just desserts.


One cannot take this path no matter how poor they are. Think about it, how many people will be ruined by all those drugs? If simply posting a few photographs could get one sympathy, then is this society’s thinking too sick? Corrupt officials cannot be spared, but no matter the reason drug traffickers too cannot be forgiven.


If corrupt officials don’t die, there will be even more people who cannot live decent lives, forcing them to commit crimes and take the path of no return! So what is the source of all these evils?


They deserve to die, and those shameless corrupt officials deserve to die ten times more, a hundred times more, a thousand times more, ten thousand times more.


Definitely do not get into drugs. You will only harm others and harm yourself.


ifeng should publish some photos of executing corrupt officials. It should give people an even better feeling.


Next time you are reborn remember to not take the crooked/wrong path, but to walk the straight/honest path.

Comments from Mop:


Only when one is at the end of their life does one feel how precious it is.


How terrifying it is when one is facing death.


The eve of their execution and they don’t even let the male prisoners be with the female prisoners to have one last night of ecstacy.

太不人道了 ~!

Let them have sex a few times that night!


Strongly call for the abolition of the death penalty. Everyone has the right to life, and no one has the right to deprive others of their life.


Sentenced so harshly for such a litle amount of drugs. Fuck, the ordinary common people are screwed if they don’t have any guanxi [connections].


The last meal is actually shredded pork rice noodle and McDonald’s?! The Heavenly Kingdom is incredible.


What about their children? They are people with families, and if it weren’t to make a living, who would do these kind of dangerous things?

Look at those X second generation [rich second generation, children of the rich], which one of them is short of money? Which one of them would do these things?

Those who read this and felt nothing afterward, fenqing, X second generation, go ahead and yell at me, I’m just here to get soy sauce.


Fuck, why is it that those [corrupt officials] who embezzle hundreds of millions to billions are always given suspended death sentences?

Comments from NetEase:


The death penalty for drug trafficking should be abolished, especially for women.


The impact of corrupt officials on society is far larger than drug dealers. Either abolish it or have them all be given death sentences!


Sympathy should not be unchecked!!!!!!!!


If I were to die,
I’d rather spend my last night by myself.
I wouldn’t want some kind of red shirt and red pants, an outfit of white would be enough.


So real and such a difficult/rare thing to capture. The reporter did a tough job. The condemned prisoners were very calm. After reading I’m filled with emotion.


The law must be strict, otherwise it will lose its respect, and society ultimately must have rule of law. Even though sometimes we may feel sorry for some people facing death, we cannot give them even the least bit of sympathy.


After looking through these photos, I am filled with sadness. I have never seen just what drug users are like, but when I see these women, I feel very sad for them!

Compared to corrupt officials and the scum who hurt children, these women getting the death penalty seems too harsh.


I really don’t feel that this so-called strict law enforcement has any value. Drug trafficking at the worse is just greed. It’s harm to society is much less compared to making fake food, fake medicine, embezzlement, and bribery. Beating the mouse instead of the tiger [going after the weak instead of the powerful], this is justice?


Use the proper perspective when looking at something. Drug trafficking has caused serious harm to the country and its people. If it weren’t sold, then no one would use it. If we don’t combat crime, we cannot effectively control it. Hope that through seeing these images, people will learn a lesson, treasure their lives, and not count on luck.


Post a photo of a drug user who is trapped between life and death. I bet then you all will demand that the drug dealers be given death by a thousand cuts.

What do you think? Do you feel sympathy for such condemned criminals? Or do they deserve it?


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


Leave a Reply

One Ping

  1. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.