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Death sentences for rat poison crimes of passion
2007-09-27 02:26:58 AFP

BEIJING, Sept 27, 2007 (AFP) - Three people were sentenced to death in China this week for murdering their partners with rat poison, with one woman convicted of passing the toxin through a kiss, state press said Thursday.

Xin Xinfeng was sentenced to death in central China's Henan province after a local court found her guilty of passing a capsule of rat poison to her lover through a kiss on the mouth, Xinhua news agency said.

Her lover, identified as Mao Ansheng, later died, it said.

Xin committed the crime in January this year after Mao had a relationship with another woman, it said. She was sentenced to death on Tuesday.

In another case, lovers Chen Lihua and Huang Jianxiao were sentenced to death on Wednesday in southwestern China's Yunnan province for separately poisoning their spouses.

Chen was convicted of lacing her husband's food with rat poison, leading to his death in February 2005, the Yunnan Daily reported.

Huang was convicted of poisoning his wife in March the same year, it added, she too died.

The lovers feared that they would have to surrender some of their wealth if they divorced their spouses, so they decided to murder them instead, it said.

Chen and Huang were given two-year reprieves on their death sentences, meaning their capital punishments will likely be commuted to life in prison.

The use of rat poison is common in murder cases in China because it is cheap and widely available.

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