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.

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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:

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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.

  • Kojika Buto


    • JoE

      Too bad, your sofa was stuffed with illegal substances.

      Seriously, this is pretty damn depressing.

      • So true. Calling “first” is pretty lame even if it’s in another language.

        I know there are many “lurkers” who just come to the ‘SMACK to only read the comments and only wait for their chance to only cry out their mediocrity, but: c’mon.

        Even once Fauna releases the two inevitable Chinese news stories of “China drops bomb on Japan” or “China becomes democracy”, there will still be some attention whore who’s sole goal in life is to break their “sofa hymen” and ignore the topic at hand.

        • whichone

          Every time I read one of those “sofa”, I look at the comment with disdain, and think along the lines of “there goes another retard who has nothing interesting to say”. However once I saw an article with no comments yet, I was really tempted to become the same retard, the only reason I did not was out of fear of becoming the bigger retard who shouts sofa but is sitting on the floor…:(

        • Kojika Buto

          More butthurtisms, please. Each one reminds me of how delicious it is to have a perfectly unhurt butt resting on a cushy sofa.

    • Rod

      I think it’s awesome. I don’t’ understand why you guys have to be dicks about it. Big deal. Some guy gets a sofa, and you get all butt-hurt because we’ve got to be serious.

      Be serious guys.
      It’s a serious site.
      We have to make serious comments.
      I’m totally serious.

      • Kojika Buto

        The butthurt in their posts only makes the sofa that more enviable to them. And that more comfy for me! Comfy, comfy sofa.

      • JoE

        …Is this why you come here? To feel better of yourself? The internet is a fascinating place to browse. It has broadened my horizons and I have seen the callous thoughts people have said all in the name of lulz. It’s appalling. It’s depressing. It’s sad. Worse of all, no one cares and it will never change.

        Now that I’ve bummed myself out. I’m going to overdose on kittens and Welsh Corgis’. Then probably jack off to some pixelated Japanese AV’s.

  • Mrs Warboys

    It’s sofa, right?

    Did I win?

    2.3kg isn’t that heavy, seems a bit harsh!

    • Hongjian

      500 gramm is the treshold for getting the bullet in China.

  • robin yates

    they knew the penalty for dealing drugs before they started.Their death gives a message to all” don’t sell drugs! “The worst are the big men who manufacture these horrible drugs, they are the ones the Authorities should be after

    • jon

      Drugs are illegal because they hurt people. But guns, nukes, biochemicals also hurt people? But are made by government of china who also punishes with death penalty. Do you see the contradiction.

    • Glowndark

      nobody forces people at gunpoint to use drugs! the weaks and losers use drugs because they are stupid, they deserve the consequences of their own actions, why blame it on the dealers? no drug user => no drug dealer. the world is a fucked place, especially china, nuff said!

      • Tengu

        I agree …mostly.


        Look up the relationship between drugs and Human Female Trafficking if you don’t think anyone is ever forced to take drugs at gunpoint.

        Europe is filled with FSU junkies who have been promised a better life, been forcibly hooked on drugs and then tossed in the street.

        Paris, they’re all over.

        Thailand has seen a huge boom in Human trafficking since the floods, easier prey when no one is sure where anyone is.

      • whichone

        Some drug dealers target those who lack sufficient mental capacities to fully appreciate their action e.g. Kids. Moreover, many drugs create a physiological dependence, so someone who suffers a moments infirmity, could never get their life back on track because the drug dealers provided an avenue for their self desctructive tendencies.

        Put another way, bombs don’t blow up people, people do, surely you agree we should not allow people to sell bombs on the street corner?

        Also, what tengu said.

    • Justin

      Well, I agree with your last statement. It is the larger cartels that are responsible. You shouldn’t hold it against these low level people who are probably just mules trying to make a meager living. They were probably paid pretty poorly for the massive risk that ultimately cost them their lives. Watch the film “Mary Full of Grace” It’s in Spanish. That is the English title. But it’s about a drug mule. It will make you see this whole story a little differently.

  • hippie

    The guy prisoner in the last picture looks like every single Chinese middle aged man, right down to the belt buckle I wonder if that was a specially prepared outfit.
    Really? left over McDonald’s as the last meal. is that standard? Also, how were they killed.

    • mr. weiner

      I’d assume they still use a bullet to the back of the head and send the families the bill for the bullet. though I have heard if they’ve found a buyer for your kidneys you get gassed so they can harvest them faster. Have to do an aids check on drug mules though.
      The Guards looked quite humane though, though my idea of a final meal would not be last night left over Mc happy meal.

  • Dynasty

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

    Haha. I always can’t help but laugh when the inexperienced try to act knowledgeable about drugs.

    • Nyancat

      care to educate the masses?

      • jon

        Do you know how many families and children commies have killed? But no death penalty for them?

  • EuroTrash

    Funny comments white is nudeness such a no go in CHina? They blasting about it though still when any whit men goes to toilet, he draws audience.. why can i not pee here without guys sneakingly look at my wiener??? why do we get called Guelo or so and scrutinized for stealing women (well try mouthwash…does the trick) while china ha s all the little misses things , ktv, sauna and scissor free barbershops?? f..king hell get a bleeding life mr china

  • jon

    Funny how commies who steal billions and billions of money illegally rule China, and people who carry drugs to make a far smaller amount of money illegally gets the death penalty. Same thing happens in America also. Bankers who commit multi billion dollar frauds get no jail time, a person who commits $5000 welfare fraud get 3 years of jail time.

    • jon

      These woman were just born in the wrong family, they are the same type of people like the commie rulers and have probably exactly the same mindset, but did not have the chance to make money through bribes, so they had to resort to drugs. Ah, the world is unjust. Just the wrong family can make you receive either death penalty, or a life of luxury.

    • John Wayne

      I agree with Jon. I also think that getting to chew on a bullet for dope is too harsh and I am not a libtard by no means. But prison time would suffice for non-violent crimes.

    • Marsvin

      Kill one man and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men and you are a king.

    • Joe

      Nobody can illegally rule a country. That’s a fucking retarded idea.

      • “Might is right”; yep, keep on truckin’; once you drive out of the tunnel you may get to see some scenery around you.

        And lay off the pep pills.

  • KennyM

    Isn’t that quite well known that female drug mules are often victims of their drug dealing men? They are either tricked or coerced by them into trafficking.

    Some of them have even been sacrificed as decoys (ie. deliberately tipped off to the customs by their men) so a second mule can get away under the diversion.

    Admittedly I’m getting my info on few episodes of a program about getting locked up aboard on Discovery channel :P

    Not sure what is like in china, but I suspect these women’s men have some role in it. No matter what, these women don’t deserve to die

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  • Hongjian

    Due to historic reasons, there is that iron rule in China that anything related to drugs, no matter how small, will eventually lead to death penalty.

    Thank the british and their opium wars for it, which made any Chinese regime hyper-sensitive about drugs in general.

    Now, if we can round up and publically torture all corrupt officials and their entire families with even their children and toddlers (since they profitted from/where born because the corruption of their parents) slowly and painfully to death, and letting their corpses rot under open skies while maggots fester on their flesh, China will finally do something to address the other longstanding historic sensitivity of a corrupt mandarinate ruining entire empires and selling it out to foreign invaders with their guanxi and hongbao bullshit.

    Killing solves all problems: One man, one problem. No man, no problem.

    • Dat Ankle

      Man dead, idea can still live.

      If enough people can support hes idea, then its going to take a lot more killing to get it over with. It’ll look really bad for the country unless it’s quite down, even then it doesn’t kill the idea if its recorded….

    • Marsvin

      200 years later and we’re still blaming the colonials?

      • Maloke

        Marsvin>> are you American?

        • Marsvin


      • staylost

        Hongjian is making the assumption we all do: that the Chinese government is afraid that it is illegitimate and therefore must rely on dreging up nationalist sentiment against enemies that are “different”.

        The war against drugs in China isn’t really against drugs. It is a war against the ghost of imperialism, and serves to keep the people angry at imperialism.

        It is the same with the Japanese, the “American running dogs”, and Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

        Obviously, every country in the world does this to some extent to help them deal with their insecurities. But China has made this the bread they live on, which is usually only true in small isolationist countries (or large aggressive genocidal ones).

        • Matt Smith

          +1 for you. Propaganda only works if you give people something else to be angry at, such as the Japanese, or in this case, drugs. So long as people see another problem with a presumably different root, and that problem is promulgated enough, people will never look at the government in a clear light.

        • Justin

          True, all nations need a mythical Other to unite themselves against. That’s why there will only truly be world peace when the aliens invade.

        • I can’t much except to your already excellent analysis except to say the people of China need to be controlled for the sake of control.

          Chinese can’t be allowed to freely have sex for fun and use recreational drugs because then they might finally enjoy life and sit back and reassess their priorities. That means think.

          This is why over a billion people need to be under a thumb at all times in order to keep them in line. For the sake of it. Besides repressive practices and customs and the forbiddance of “dangerous materials”, China is the one place with massive crowds yet has an overabundance of tiny “cattle” gates and only ever one set of doors open whenever the officials aren’t around.

          +1 for the clarity. I’m still disappointed the climax of the Watchman movie didn’t feature the space squid, all the same.

        • mankouzanghua

          do you honestly think their stance on drugs is thought through according to this philosophical/psychological underpinning? i can understand a hatred and fear of drugs based on historical reasons, but “serving to keep the people angry at imperialism”?

          some people in other countries also think that drug traffickers should be put to death or punished with extreme severity. would you apply the same thinking to singapore for example or just china? if just china, why the difference, because singapore seems pretty stable, at least to me.

          it seems more plausible to me that there are other cultural and psychological factors that would better explain the country’s stance on drugs.

          • staylost

            It may be hard to believe that such a convoluted reason is a driving factor, but it is true.

            That this kind of thinking exists is easy to show: simply look at the more open USA during the cold war. Individuals and groups frequently and obviously had innocent people imprisoned (or worse) for being part of the “enemy”.

            You can look up in depth records of Nixon’s campaigns for presidency if you want to see a clear and planned example of this mindset.

            In terms of this outside enemy manifestation in China, it is so heavy I can see it every day. If I walk across the room and talk about drug use, my coworkers will drift into carefully speaking about the evils of imperialism. If I chat about Japanese on the street, the kids will talk about how evil they are.

            Why is this true? Because TV, movies, the daily news and school (all entirely controlled by the government) brainwashed them to believe it as they grew up.

            So, the government is constantly reinforcing ideas about Chinese heroes fighting against imperialists, Japanese, or remote peoples now within China that were not historically part of China.

            Why are they doing this?

          • Capt. WED

            China has really fucked up drug policies. But seriously are there any countries on earth that do not punish drug trafficking? (Minus one or two that has slightly liberal views on drug use). You guys make it sound like China’s drug policies are really fucked up and it’s everywhere else is so much more liberal.

          • Uberche

            China kills people for it. Other countries do to and those countries are just as fucked.

            Most developed countries don’t kill people for selling a product people demand.

    • Jes

      i’m sorry, but I would like to point out some inaccurate statements about harsh treatment of “anything related to drugs” and also about “astonishment” that china treats drugs so harshly compared to other countries.

      Chinese public policy on drugs is opposite to many western countries like USA. in China, drug traffickers are treated extremely harshly, while drug users are treated as patients needing therapy rather than as criminals. so in fact, for most of the population, drug punishments are much less harsh than in the west.

      i prefer less harsh penalties, and am also against the death penalty period.

  • Dat Ankle

    Still can’t believe China has a death penalty for trafficking drugs, that is way too harsh.

    • Brett Hunan

      I see these “traffickers” getting the bullet, but did the police ever bother to find the ones who pay them to? Most likely the women were mules, not the bosses. Killing the women will not solve any trafficking problems, only create: prompting the drug lords to ask the question, “Which of these billion+ people will be my next mule?”

  • Saeed Khan Falahi

    No one should be given death penalty. All the governments must consider death penalty as irrelevant and inhumane respecting the demands of all humanitarians around the world. Death penalty must be ended in all countries of the world.,

  • Zebadee

    Never understood why male drug dealers are allowed to operate in Shanghai (Nanjing Road, Hengshan Rd) in full view of the police standing just a few feet away and who do absolutely nothing about it. In Hengshang Rd during the evenings they even stand around chatting with police officers.

    … then again, this is China.

    • matt

      Pretty much this.

      The only difference is that my local police apparently keep bankers’ hours. Drug dealers are a common sight around my neighborhood in the evening.

      China’s de facto drug policy is to randomly apply extremely harsh punishments. If there was consistent enforcement from the police, then there would be no need for these “kill the chicken to scare the monkeys” punishments.

    • Easy: they are in business together. In teh English, this is caused “teh cahoots”.

  • Matt Smith

    I’m not sure if I’m surprised or not at the apparent ignorance of how drug addiction works in these comments. Many of the commenters seem to be under the impression that drug users are forced into addiction by the dealers who roam the streets peddling their wares, but what they fail to realize is that, in the absence of such dealers, many of those same people they would have sold their drugs to would probably end up on a downward spiral anyways. When it’s our loved ones who are addicted to drugs, we prefer to think that it’s the dealers’ fault, but the truth is that drug use such as these commenters imagine is generally a symptom of a greater problem in one’s life. As luobo56sc points out, if our society is so great and fair, then why would people turn to drugs in the first place? Yet even in places where life is considered more equitable, we still see people turning to drugs. Now, I’m not saying that some people are doomed from the start, but it does seem that the majority of people addicted to drugs start using for reasons not directly related to the drugs themselves.

    • mankouzanghua

      good academic analysis. drug addicts tend to have deeper issues at the root of their problem.

      BUT what your model neglects is that true drug addiction, if you have seen its effects personally, becomes a “symptom” that is 1000 times worse than the problem that caused it. people will cheat and steal whatever they can from their own family members and closest friends, so what regard do you think they would have for a neighbor, acquaintance, stranger? it’s a rare event in my opinion for the root causes of addiction by themselves to have these extreme, anti-social, selfish, and all-encompassing effects on people, much of which — in the case of certain drugs — is sadly rooted in changes in physiology and your brain. in other words, you literally get to the point you have no feeling of “reward” from ANYTHING BUT the drug.

      i’m sad these people have been executed, too. but i didn’t see much “ignorance concerning how drug addiction works” in the comments. the suffering of drug addicts, their families, friends, everyone’s lives they ruin, is real, too. in my opinion one of the real issues here should be what effect the severe punishments for drug traffickers is actually having on the availability of drugs.

  • Joe

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

    2. MIA

    3. Bargaining?
    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.

    4. Depression?
    condemned drug dealer He Xiuling crying befoer her execution.

    5. MIA

  • Dave in Macau

    Executing drug dealers just provides the illusion of control while effectively changing nothing, as many above me have pointed out eloquently.

    • DRaY

      Yeah “ILLUSION” … dude I see less drugs use and drug availability here than any other place I have even been.
      I think the penalty of “DEATH” is a very effective deterrent.

  • Alex

    It make more damage the idiocy of millions than 7 kg of stuff in the market.

  • MonkeyMouth

    Song if the Article:

    ‘Women in Uniform’
    by Iron Maiden.

    This article is sad no matter if you support the death penalty or not. Watching the dead women walking makes you feel a bit creepy. I agree with the commenters saying that their men are behind it. Throwing these women under the bus.

  • Coyote88

    Chinese logic: Killing is wrong, so we’re going to kill you.

    No matter how rich China gets it seems it will always be a country filled with ignorant barbarians.

    • whichone

      One person killing another is morally wrong and prohibited by society for practical reasons. The state kills convicted criminal, morally: unclear and controversial, practical effects: also unclear and controversial. However, what is clear is that one killing is not the same as the other, the logic is not Chinese only, or blatantly contradictory.

      As for your second point, I think you would agree that Chinese people wealthier, the number of ignorant barbarians decreased. Whether or not the population curve of ignorant barbarians become asymptotic as wealth increases to very large numbers remains to be seen, so let’s “never say never”.

  • rollin wit 9’s

    Why the fck is she laughing and seeming to have a good time the night before her execution with the same dick nuts that are going to execute her? Strange if you ask me but then again it is china, where nothing is normal.

  • eattot

    at least nowadays they treat prisoners well.
    before they had to work.

    • GodsHammer

      Working is better than dying, no? Drug dealing is not the same as premeditated murder… so why the death penalty? I used to know a Chinese boy who got caught in a sting operation…in his first drug deal. They went light on him… 20 years. WTF…

  • Will I Am

    Such a sad situation for everyone concerned: the condemned, those who used the drugs, the officers pictured, the executioners and the and all of the families. A prisoner is executed and many other lives are impacted.

  • Saeed Khan Falahi

    Death penalty is a inhumane and brutal punishment which violates the right of life. I urge the government of China to abolish the death penalty immediately, commuting all death sentences respecting the basic human right (right to life) of all prisoners who are helplessly waiting the government to kill them. We all must not ignore this fact that We all are human first.,

  • Fox

    At this very moment (the execution), I think I’ll just foolishly run with all my power, even if it’s to be killed by gunshots. I have a hard time thinking about what goes through the condemned people’s mind on the edge of death… a ridiculous chance of staying alive is worth taking, don’t you think?

    • whichone

      I think during moments before certain death, one does not think in those terms. “The Wall” by Jean-Paul Sartre has a frighteningly convincing descriptions of what those last few hours feels like.

  • andywattbulb

    wtf? Death for dealing drugs?

    • Alan

      Alcohol and Tobacco are drugs right?

      Or did that get forgotten amidst all this?

      According to the report in the UK alcohol is more high risk than mdma…education and awareness is needed, but sadly lacking!

  • hooots

    A Rare Glimpse Into the Horrors of Life on Chinese Death Row

    • DRaY

      YAWN… get a good lawyer if you don’t want to go to jail.. especially if you are innocent!!! False imprisonment happens a lot in the US.

  • Meh

    I cried reading this. -_-

  • Capt. WED

    wow I just looked at the pictures thats pretty messed up. Getting your nails done you last night on earth and having a bittersweet laugh.

  • TomTuttleFromTacoma


  • Brothers

    Drugs kills people, but getting a death penalty for 2.3 KG od drugs is for me too much. Look how many people are on the road in China that are not able to drive. In my opinion they are more lethal then a woman that is trafficing drugs.

  • Nikolodian

    Interesting that there were so many Chinese comments wishing ‘corrupt officials’ would be sentenced to death instead of drug dealers. I’m guessing it might come down to which group screws over more innocent people’s lives. Both groups clearly don’t care about the lives their actions affect but the officials are paid to serve the people not screw them which is worse IMO.

  • Rod

    The whole thing looks like a party to me. I didn’t expect to see so many smiles!

  • freddynyc

    Creepy propaganda for Western viewing – who are they kidding…?

  • Foreign Devil

    Drug users choose to abuse drugs. . don’t blame the dealer!! I see Chinese have a lot to learn about drugs. . China leads the world in executing “criminals”.

  • Paul


  • pat.k

    How can a death penalty can still exists since the law forbids giving death?
    Killing condemned people belongs to the Middle Age.
    How long will we have to wait and share that time when the end of death penalty all over the world will be legal?

  • DW

    Those who preached about the immorailty of drugs need to remember that the most harmful drug in the world is alcohol. It causes more human misery than all other drugs put together. So why do we honour alcohol pushers and condemn those who trade in other drugs?

  • julien

    shame on death penality.

  • Luc

    No doubt some people might feel like having drugs, after seeing this. The right question is not : “who provided the drug ?” to which almost every post above brings an answer, but : “Why did they need some ?”. These pictures may be part of the answer.

  • Xiongmao

    yet another proof that capital punishment doesn’t prevent crime. Obviously there are plenty of poor people willing to take the chance. I just feel pretty bad for them having to make that choice while the big fat triad bosses never run any actual risk, just reaping the rewards.

  • I feel pity for those who have commented who feel no sympathy. They are worse than those being killed. They are the ones who make our world worse, not better.

  • atxplus

    Once upon a time I was opposed to the death penalty, but to be honest we are all animals. none of us live a life which is completely selfless; you just need to listen to the punters who ring into the Jeremy Vine show on the BBC. So I say bring it on. I wish they would bring back the death penalty to the scum next door who keeps me awake with his loud thumping music.

  • everyone here is very quick to judge this girls. what if they were forced into that situation? what if they are addicts themselfs trying to support their habit working for the REAL drug smugglers, the ones making cash out of allowing drugs flow as easily as they do (they certainly have the methods to make it stop, but someone makes cash from it being otherwise). those are the ones that should be executed, the mass murderers, not a couple fucking junkies.

  • Rob fuss

    凤凰网北京市网友:网络路人甲 In response to your coment she should be shot ten times??? what an idiot you are, no wonder your still a third world country!! it only takes 1 bullet einstien, why dont you get all the corrupt officials out of power? wait silly me then you would have no-one running the country huh? Its about time you stop and take a good hard look at your country 1.3-1.4 billion people where are the jobs for all these people? A family is minus a young woman a 25 yr old young woman that could have been helped and not in your so called re-education camps So Barbaric!!!!! Its the 21st century not the Ming Dynasty…

  • Alex

    The Death Penalty is cruel and horrible, it belongs in medieval times and not in any country who claims to be modern. Pictures like these show that China (and indeed any other country practising the death penalty) has a long way to go before they can be considered well functioning. This is nothing but state sanctioned murder.

    And regarding those who die and live horrible lives from drug abuse, is not everyone responsible for their own actions? People smuggling drugs is not a problem. People taking drugs is and that is where we should try to prevent it. To shoot drug smugglers is definitely not the right way to go.

  • blahblahblah

    it’s everyone’s fault, that they should commit such deeds. all criminals are the same, that everyone in the society is responsible for their acts. what they have done is the culmination of everyone’s lack of conscience. from their parents, school teachers, friends, classmates, neighbours etc, who have not given them what they should have.

  • Victor

    I CAN NOT believe all of these comments saying “She deserved it” and so on..
    She was caught with 7kg of narcotics. They were most likely not her own. You do not use 7kg of narcotics, you would die if you used that amount even over a whole year or more.

    I think people are too blinded with laws. They look at laws and think they are always the right way. So tell me, is a law truly fair all the time? If she had no other way to live, but selling drugs. Or if she got raped a lot and had a terrible life, and would get tortured or killed if she didn’t sell them.

    People have free choices of their own for a reason. Believe me, I have been in a lot of trouble for choosing the wrong options. But I got out of it with choosing better options. And I thank God that I am still alive. I am alive, and a better person than ever. And that is because I still have my life, and i changed. If you do bad things, eventually it will come back to you by itself. But to kill somebody for whatever reason, my humanity tells me is WRONG! I beg you, FOLLOW YOUR HUMANITY! NOT THE LAWS! Don’t get blinded by today’s society. It makes you lack sympathy and humanity. All I ask of you: Be human. Thanks for reading, I really hope that you might take a time to think about this. Just turn off your screen and speakers for a little while and THINK! You are a human, not a robot! You are divine and beautiful somewhere in you, you just can’t see it yourself, because you don’t think you are.

  • China’sloosefaces

    To all you fuckers that think you are mr/miss right to kill, you all are not God, and you still can be killed or dead too. Remember that when your time is come and think what others comments about your carcass on the web when someone post it. I really feel sorry about women in live china the selfish people country, which their think just about money so they forget about humanity and become animals… I hope one day justice will be done to the executers who murder those women who never want to become drug traffickers, like tao jing, Feng Cuiqiong,
    also like Liu Yu, Song Dan, Liu Jinfeng, renxue and so on so on
    who never got a chance in this world because of their ugly faces government and people. You all remember Jiang ze min? Your evil prime minister who now arrested in spain? Yeah, that’s right I hope he will be executed like those women, shot on his small cock..

  • swiss

    Death penalty is never fair and can’t be justified. Laws are a social relative things, and judgement can fail. To me, drug dealing is not such a terrible thing.

    • ScottLoar

      To you “drug dealing is not such a terrible thing” but that is your singular opinion among the general population of several countries (e.g. the PRC, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia) which had experience of rampant addiction. Their experience is drugs ruin lives, and degenerates society. Your “recreational use” may not be so severe but, again, that’s your opinion.

      But this, the “death penalty is never fair and can’t be justified” is silly. Some crimes are so contrary to the standards of decency (can you not think of examples?) and mutual protection (ah, serial killers?) binding people together as a community that eliminating the criminal is justified. Death is for those whose crimes endanger the very existence of the community or which, if unpunished, would threaten their common standard of morality, and that is to be decided by their community. The death penalty is fair by their standard and they justify so.

      • swiss

        First, please don’t call me silly. Then we can talk. You ask me if I can’t think to any crime so terrible that is justifiy death penalty, and my answer is no. I think you mix everything : justice, decency, revenge… I think they are two main things wrong about what you say :

        1. Even if I agree that drug can detroy a life, since when did you know that killing people carrying drug (maybe not even drug dealers, but whatever) helps in anyway to solve the problem ? Are the coutries where drug is illegal the one with the less drug problem ? I guess you know that the answer is no. Because drug problem at a society level is related to people’s life conditions : education, perspective, security, possibility to get a real job… and this is not something you solve just by declaring someone guilty and killing him.

        As an exemple : you can commit suicide by hanging yourself. Now, are the coutries where cords are the cheapest those where the suicide rate is the highest ? No. This idea makes no sense. Well, talking about drug, it’s just the same.

        2. Now, about death penalty, in a general way, without relating it to drug dealing in particular. You call me silly because it seems obvious to you that I should be aware “some crimes are so contraty to the standards of dencency” …oh yes ? So what is this thing you call our “common standard of morality” if even you and me don’t agree on such an important thing as death penalty ? And if I believe that carrying drug is not in itself a terrible crime ? Maybe are you still the one that represents your “common sense” and that makes me the deviant ? Am I now also a threat so society ?

        My point is that the “standards” your claim to defend, we can put them in question. They are not absolute, and even if maybe you are crazy enough to think you can’t be wrong, well, you can. And because you can be wrong, you shouldn’t take lives.

        Finally, to answer you question, let me tell you ont last thing : no, I don’t think there is such a terrible crime it deserves death. I can clearely imagine a crime that would make me wish someone’s death. And I can even imagine killing someone for what he did to me. Anyone who loves know those feelings and so am I. But it’s not society’s to hear this wish and make it reel. Common right is not about revenge.

        • ScottLoar

          “I don’t think there is such a terrible crime it deserves death.”

          And I explained why there is, and why communities accept so. No, it is not revenge; no, it is not simply “drugs”; no, it is not because some persons cannot bear to kill and so avoid it, and to suggest so is silly.

          Again, “death is for those whose crimes endanger the very existence of the community or which, if unpunished, would threaten their common standard of morality, and that is to be decided by their community. The death penalty is fair by their standard and they justify so.”

          • swiss

            Yes, I get it the first time : “death is for those whose crimes endanger the very existence of the community”. And what ? It’s just you saying that, reapeting it doesn’t make it right… Some cummunities accept so, as you say …and some doesn’t! You prove nothing here.
            And what do you mean by kill and avoid it if not revenge ? First, your analogy between carying drug and killing seems abusive to me, and second, even if we were talking about murder (which we are not), are you saying anyone who kill should be killed? But this is not revenge ? Sure…

          • ScottLoar

            No, you don’t get it. The death penalty is decided and accepted by the community it serves for the crimes they determine. It is not for revenge; why do you insist on saying so? The death penalty – execution, elimination – is for acts that the society cannot tolerate, cannot forgive, and which endanger that society. It is the society (the community, no matter a nation or a tribe) that determines if death is a needed punishment and for what crime, and in the countries I quoted the death penalty is well known and practiced for the crime in that country of selling illicit drugs. You obviously do not like so, but those nations have decided that death is the penalty.

            I have already explained this.

          • swiss

            As you notice, you’re repeating yourself. As I’m not going mayself to write the same things again and again, let me end my participation to this conversation with this : the fact that death penalty is accepted by some communities (I suppose you talk about an hypothetic majority or tradition when you use this word…) doesn’t make it right.

            I keep talking about revenge because unless you can prove death penalty is an efficient way to prevent drug use (which you can’t because it’s not), the only motivation that matters here is punition for itself. I talk about revenge because you talk about (un)forgiveness, when you should talk about efficience.

            You are right when you say that some nations have chosed respond to some acts by killing people. I can be selling drugs, it can be have sex without wedding, it can be desobey to police, it can also be talk about your opinion the way we are doing now… So it’s because they chosed it that it’s right ? I don’t think so, and it’s precisely this choice I am condamning here.

            I understand very well that I won’t change your mind about it, but you shouldn’t think that being against death penalty is just a lack of authority. It’s the ground foundation of a healthy society that takes care of the real cause of it’s deases. A society that doesn’t add arbitary state murder to the deaths of drug.

            I wish you a good day.

          • Anon

            I dont know about any philosophycal nature of death sentence, but isn’y USA jury hypothetically allowed to overrule law or even null a law, that system was devised by USA so that the LAW would reflect society conscience

        • cheese

          Well, maybe if you were tied to a chair, and your loved ones were tortured to death, one by one, right in front of your eyes by a person (with or without influence of drugs), and later proceeded to hack off all your limbs while leaving you alive – you might just change your mind.

  • Crystal skyes

    I believe if anyone is to be executed, it is the drug kingpins NOT the mules.
    The mules are often impoverished, desperate individuals typically coming from a broken family.
    Society and the government have as must to be blamed for letting them fall into their desperate state. If only someone truly cared…
    It is unjustified as the ringleaders always get away scot-free and the only scape goat that the police and society ,as a whole, blames is the poor drug mule who are often duped anyway to carry over the limit using very underhanded tactics.
    People that feel that drug mules should be executed should have the pleasure for being born poor and/or have their life thrown into disarray by family issues (such as mother falls ill) divorce, rape, violence, stress etc.

    Don’t say it will never happen to you as you will never know if you will be reborn in a crap state. Then, the joke will be on you and you will feel the full force of it.
    The universe works in such a way that whatever comes around goes around.
    By then, it will be too late for you to regret and for it to change, will be completely out of your hands.