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China Dishes Out Death Penalty to Canadian Citizen

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(The Australian) A Chinese court ordered the death penalty for a Canadian national after convicting him in a hurried retrial that legal experts called a maneuver by Beijing to gain leverage over Ottawa for the arrest of a prominent Chinese executive.

The Intermediate People’s Court in this northeast port city on Monday convicted Canadian Robert Schellenberg of taking part in methamphetamine smuggling and sentenced him to death in a one-day proceeding just days after announcing the retrial. Two months earlier, the same court sentenced Mr Schellenberg to 15 years in prison for the same offense, though this time around prosecutors charged him with being a key figure, not just an accessory, in an international drug-smuggling ring.

So this guy was charged with trying to ship 500 pounds of meth from China to Australia. With a charge like that, I can’t say I’m surprised he got the death penalty in a place like China. However, the really scary thing is that he had already been sentenced to 15 years in jail. He appealed the sentence and then after only a day in court, they decided to give him the death penalty instead. It’s so clear that he’s being used as a political pawn. Canada still holds a Chinese Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in custody on charges that she was trying to defraud multiple international institutions. China promised repercussions if she wasn’t released and this is clearly one of them. Oh remember that Canadian we arrested on drug trafficking charges? Well we just changed his 15 year prison sentence to the death penalty. Tough luck.

“arlier this month, the Chinese government took the rare step of inviting foreign media to attend his appeal hearing — prompting speculation that Beijing wanted to use Schellenberg’s case to exert pressure on Ottawa to free Meng.”

It’s CRAZY how arbitrary the Chinese legal system can be when enforcing laws. I know Americans who have failed drug tests in China after getting apprehended by police. Some do 6 days in jail, some do 6 months. It all depends on whether the Chinese government wants to send a political message to the US government or not. With the trade war ramping up, it’s definitely a tough time to be an American abroad. Also, I definitely picked a bad week to be dropping this series but the content game doesn’t sleep.