fter being locked away for 25 years on a wrongful murder conviction, a Jilin man has been awarded 4.6 million yuan ($671,000) in compensation.
Liu Zhonglin, 50, was arrested back in 1990 for the killing of a female villager in Jilin province’s Dongliao county. The woman had been missing for one year before her body was found near a river in the wilderness. Liu was then convicted and given a suspended death sentence.
Throughout his time in prison, Liu maintained his innocence. While he was released in 2016, it was only in 2018 that his name was completely cleared with a court overturning his conviction on an absence of evidence.
On Monday, the court announced that for the quarter of a century spent behind bars, Liu would be awarded 4.6 million yuan in compensation, including 2.62 million yuan for “infringement of personal freedom” and 1.98 million yuan for “mental distress.”
The amount is a record for such cases in China, but only about one-quarter of the 16.7 million yuan ($2.4 million) sought by Liu’s lawyer. While Liu said that he was satisfied with the compensation, he noted that he had already been “deprived of his best years.”
In recent years, a number of convictions that were reached through false forced confessions in the 1990s in China have been overturned. Last November, another Jilin man named Jin Zhehong was found not guilty after spending 23 years in prison for rape and murder.
Though Liu and Jin are lucky when compared with others who were only determined innocent decades after being executed.