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The older ones would say that it was a punishment, otorrinos would say that certainly it is the relaxation of the vocal folds. This is what happened to a murder suspect who fled the police for 12 years pretending to be mute and ended up losing his ability to speak, according to Chinese media reports. The Chinese in question, identified only by his surname "Zheng", is accused of murdering his wife's uncle, Mr. Cao, in a dispute over a delayed rent of 500 yuan in 2005. During one of his heated mouths, Zheng, then 33, would have stabbed the renter and fled Hangzhou, Zhejiang province before authorities could arrest him.

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Illustrative photo showing the Chinese cat beggar who became a meme in the nets a few years ago. He had problems with mental disorders.

The homicide then adopted the false name of Wang Gui and began to pretend to be a mute beggar in order to survive in the shadows. Zheng finally settled in a small village in Anhui Province, 700 km north of Hangzhou, where he began to work in construction as a servant, remaining true to his dumb personality. He even remarried and had a child of this relationship, but he never even said a word to them, afraid that someone would discover his secret and criminal identity.

Unfortunately for Zheng, his 12 years of self-imposed silence ended up charging a very high bill. The "punishment" began to unfold during a police raid in his village in search of drugs earlier this year. The officers distrusted when the man expressed between grunts and broad gestures that he had no documents. He then had to give up a sample of his blood, whose DNA was tracked to verify his identity. This is how they learned that Wang Gui was actually Zheng, the killer who disappeared more than a decade ago.

A few days into jail, police soon discovered something strange about the alleged killer. Although he had pretended to be speechless for more than a decade, he seemed to have really lost the ability to speak. According to the Zhejiang Daily newspaper, the man eventually lost his ability to speak by relaxing the unused vocal folds for a long period of time, leading to almost total paralysis and lack of control over them.

Also read : 13 Celebrities You Didn't Know Went To Jail

Zheng only communicated with the police investigators in writing. When they questioned why he pretended to be mute for so long, the man wrote "The less I spoke, the less chance I had of making a mistake."

It has not been clear whether Zheng's mutilation can be reversed. Probably yes using the same treatments to cure aphasia. But most likely this is not as important anymore, as he faces a possible death sentence if convicted of the murder he committed 12 years ago.

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Public prosecution of criminals in China.

The death row menu is abundant in Chinese lands: firing, electric chair, gallows, lethal injection and beheading, except for the stoning carried out in countries like Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, among others. The death penalty is an old Chinese ritual today limited to 55 crimes. Among them corruption (we needed to import this), high-value thefts, drug trafficking, murder and poaching of endangered animals such as Panda. In addition, recurring crimes are added up to a limit of 20 years in prison. Furthermore, the criminal is also sentenced to death.

China is considered the most capital-punitive country in the world. Although statistics in this area are a real state secret, Amnesty International believes that the death penalty in China exceeds the sum total of executions registered annually in the rest of the world.

The most applied penalties today are that of the lethal injection followed by the firing. In Zheng's case, it is good for him to cheer by first or by other methods, so that his current wife does not receive a fat (too fat) bill at home for the price of the bullet.

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