(CBN Global) April 1 -- Mr. Chen Man spent 23 years in prison due to a wrongful conviction. He was acquitted on Feb. 1, andlater applied for state compensation of CNY9.66 million (USD1.5 million). The hearing was held yesterday at the Hainan Provincial Higher People's Court but the two sides failed to reach an agreement.
This is the first appeal ever lodged by the Supreme People's Procuratorate, China's highest agency responsible for prosecution and investigation, on behalf of a wrongfully convicted prisoner on grounds of excessive sentencing.
The Hainan Provincial Court convicted Mr. Chen of 'murder and burning a body' on Nov. 22, 1994 and sentenced him to death with reprieve. This was despite many witnesses testifying that Mr. Chen was not in the location at the right time to have committed the crime, and an obviously flawed confession, filled with contradictions.
The prisoner's change of fortune came when the Supreme People's Procuratorate lodged an appeal with the Supreme People's Court on Feb. 10 last year, claiming that the Hainan higher court misapplied the law due to errors of fact.
Mr. Chen has been diagnosed with a serious anal fissure and numbness in both lower limbs. He is claiming damages for loss of personal freedom, loss of health, and lost income.
Most court cases in China result in conviction. Acquittal rates are as low as 0.06 percent, and have dropped sharply in recent years to 778 acquittals in 2014 from 6,617 in 2000.