Chinese man sentenced to death for strangling baby: Xinhua

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese man has been sentenced to death for strangling a two-month-old baby after stealing a vehicle with the infant inside, in a case that caused widespread outrage, state media said on Monday.

Zhou Xijun, 48, "was sentenced to death and deprived of his political rights for life" for the murder, the official news agency Xinhua said.

Zhou stole an SUV parked at a roadside in the north-eastern province of Jilin in March, strangling the baby boy and leaving him in the snow after finding him on the back seat, the report said.

He turned himself a day after police and the public launched huge searches for him and the baby. The killing provoked both angst and anger among China's vast population of Internet users.

The parents had left the child alone in the car for 10 minutes with the engine running before realising the vehicle had been stolen, the state-run Global Times daily reported in March.

All death penalty verdicts are subject to a review by the supreme court. China executes around 4,000 people every year, a 50 per cent drop since 2007, says the Duihua Foundation, a US human rights group.

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