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Gang death sentences upheld

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Three of four death sentences doled out to the heads of a Kunming gang have been upheld, with one leader's sentence commuted to 'death with a two-year reprieve', according to a Xinhua report.

The Yunnan Provincial Higher Court rejected the appeals for leniency made by Jiang Jiatan, Jiang's mistress Yang Jufen and Xie Mingxiang, who in December were convicted of running a gang involved in drug trafficking, fraud, racketeering, extortion, prostitution and counterfeit money.

Yang's father Yang Guoying will only face life in prison if he does not commit any crimes during his first two years in incarceration. The provincial-level court said Yang had been manipulated by the other three gang leaders.

Most of the other sentences ranging from 18 months to life in prison were also reportedly upheld for the other 37 members of the 41-person gang, most of whom were relatives or friends of Jiang.

The gang used Jiang's drug profits from the 1990s to invest in at least 10 hotels, teahouses and internet cafes in Kunming, nearly all of which were centers of drug dealing, racketeering, extortion, prostitution and sales of counterfeit money.

The gang initially came under police scrutiny after residents of more than three villages around Kunming complained about feeling unsafe. Some of the complaints included being threatened with violence until agreeing to pay 1,000 yuan (US$147) for a pot of tea, or being beaten up after objecting to receiving fake bills as change.

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Good - they SHOULD die!! I love China - no sissy pants for hardcore criminals and we don't have to waste our tax dollars feeding these scum.

I agree. America can learn something from China.

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