The Shanghai cop killer Yang Jia was executed on Wednesday by lethal injection.
While he admitted his actions of killing six police officers in a Shanghai police station were premeditated, he felt revenge was his only way of getting back at the police for treating him badly.
And many citizens agreed with him and have praised him as a hero.
During his trial they tried to get into his courtroom or stood outside with T-shirts with his image on it or calling him a hero.
To them, Yang was brave enough to stand up to what they feel are the police's unethical or irresponsible behaviour.
However, his parents are distraught at how Yang was treated in the legal system.
His lawyers tried to plead Yang was mentally unstable and unfit for trial. But he was already convicted as a cold-blooded murderer even before the trial began, mostly through state media.
His father Yang Fusheng is devastated by his son's execution.
“I’ve tried my best to help my son, save his life, but failed, what can I say?” he said by phone to the New York Times. “It was a bitterly sad experience for these four months, the hardest and darkest time in our life. I’ll remember firmly and deeply in my heart every minute of suffering, every attempt and every appeal that I tried; I promise I will never forget it. And now I lost my son. I’ve realized how powerless common people are.”
A day after Yang was arrested by police for the killings, his mother Wang Jingmei was put in a mental hospital in Beijing and for a while her family didn't know where she was, as they were not told of her whereabouts.
She was only allowed to visit him this past Monday.
But his father only saw Yang last on October 16 and not allowed to see him before he was executed.
“I still don’t know where he was executed, how they executed him, if he died calmly or painfully, what he wanted to say to me and to his mother,” Yang Fusheng said. “It’s inhuman that the government deprived my right to see my own son; it taught me bitterly, that the scale of justice and law is always leaning toward to the one who has the power, toward so mighty a government.”
While he will continue wondering what his son's final thoughts were, Yang Fusheng probably now understands the powerlessness his son felt and why his son went on a rampage at the Shanghai police station.
Yang represents only one case in thousands who feel unjust treatment in the hands of the police and the system.
While the government is slowly reforming its legal system, China still has a long way to go before its people will feel justice has served them.