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Vendor's execution draws Chinese public's sympathy

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DIDI TANG | September 25, 2013 04:11 AM EST | AP


BEIJING — BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese street vendor convicted of killing two city officials was executed despite calls for leniency.

The execution Wednesday disappointed legal activists and many members of the public who say China's justice system fails to protect the underprivileged and punishes them too harshly.

China's social media, which has been in a lull over social issues because of a government crackdown on potentially libelous speech, lit up over the execution of Xia Junfeng, making it one of the most discussed and searched topics of the day.

Xia grilled meat skewers at a street-side stand in the city of Shenyang. He was convicted after stabbing two urban management officers to death in a room where he was questioned about an infraction.

Many observers believed Xia acted in self-defense and hoped for leniency.