Ask China to Investigate Wealthy Hiring Body Doubles to Escape Punishment

Target: President Hu Jintao

Goal: Ask Chinese government to investigate and punish incidents of body doubles being hired by the wealthy court.

A strange rumor has been circulating in China since the murder and corruption trial of disgraced leader Bo Xillai’s wife, Gu Kailai. Rumors are that she used a body double to appear in court and that the double is serving her sentence. The practice is not unheard of in China; wealthy individuals will often pay poor people to appear in court and take their punishment. Sign the petition to ask the Chinese government to investigate and punish those who use this method to escape justice.

The use of body doubles is a historical practice in China with mentions of it dating as far back as 1834. It even has its own word: “ding zui,” meaning substitute criminal. There have been many recorded incidents where the wealthy have used body doubles to escape punishment for their crimes. Many of the cases have involved the “princelings,” the sons and daughters of China’s political and economic elite. In one incident, a 25-year-old engineer was killed by a speeding princeling. The wealthy Chinese youth hired a body double to appear in court and serve the three year prison term for him. The mafia will similarly have an underling take the fall and then pay the family a substantial sum, enough to keep them comfortable for life. Family members will often serve as substitutes; a son confessed to killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in order to cover for his father.

These incidents undermine the trust of Chinese citizens in the justice system. The average citizen believes that it is easy for the wealthy elite to escape punishment for their actions. Sign the petition to ask the Chinese government to investigate the usage of body doubles and punish those who use the method to escape justice.

PETITION LETTER

Dear President Hu Jintao,

I am writing as a human rights activist to ask you to begin an investigation of a number of disturbing incidents involving the use of body doubles. It is well known that the wealthy use body doubles to escape punishment for their crimes. Reported incidents include many notable and well-respected members of society.

In 2009, a hospital president who caused a deadly accident hired an employee’s father to serve his sentence. A driver without a license who killed a motorcyclist hired a man to go to jail for $8,000. The owner of a demolition company, who illegally demolished a home, hired a homeless man to be his body double in court and paid him $31 for every day he was in jail. These stories undermine the trust of Chinese citizens in the justice system and send innocent people to jail in place of those who actually committed the crime. I ask that you investigate these incidents and punish those that use body doubles.
I hope you consider my thoughts.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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  • Stefano Serpico
  • Gregory Brown
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