china prison 52617531 Chinese woman sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing a mobile phone

What is a justifiable punishment for a mobile phone theft?  How about a slap on the wrist, reparation, and a month or two in jail?  Apparently, a Chinese woman’s phone theft crime landed her a 10 year prison sentence.  The woman’s punishment has sparked a debate on whether or not the sentence is absurd or just.

What is a justifiable punishment for a mobile phone theft?  How about a slap on the wrist, reparation, and a month or two in jail?  Apparently, a Chinese woman’s phone theft crime landed her a 10 year prison sentence.  The woman’s punishment has sparked a debate on whether or not the sentence is absurd or just.

Forty-eight year old Zhang Yun stole a mobile phone from her employer—claiming, she did so because she was not compensated for her service.  The phone theft was traced back to Zhang through the use of security surveillance.  Yun tried to hide her tracks by burying the phone in a radish field, but ultimately her employer managed to cast a decade long prison term unto her former employee. 

According to ecsn.cn, the phone’s value is 60,000 (~$9,444), and if you think that’s an absurd number then you have every right to think so.  The average income per year for people in China is less than the value of the phone which Yun stole.  On top of her 10 year prison term, Yun has to also pay a fine of 20,000 yuan (~$3,148). 

A Survey taken on tencent.com has revealed that 95% agreed that the sentence is much too harsh.  Will people’s interest in this Yun’s punishment give her a chance at another trial to reduce the degree of punishment?  What do you think?