Shawshank Redemption Movie Saved Me, Says Husband Wrongly Convicted Of Killing Wife And Son

A man who spent 21 years in jail after he was wrongly convicted of killing his wife has told how the Shawshank Redemption movie kept him going.

Li Yuqian, was just 32 years old when he was found guilty of killing his wife and son at the family home in Liupanshui, Guizhou Province.

And during his decades behind bars, not only his family but also his wife’s family had campaigned for his release.

Li’s original conviction was overturned in September 2021 as unsafe by appeal judges but not before he had completed his full sentence.

Now he is waiting for the court’s retrial verdict on the charges of murdering his wife and son.

Li told local media that one of the only things that kept him sane was the Shawshank Redemption movie.

Picture shows Li Yuqian in undated footage. He was released after serving 21 years in prison for murdering his wife and child in Guizhou, China. (AsiaWire)

In the film, banker Andy Dufresne is jailed after being wrongly convicted of killing his wife and her lover.

Li says one of the famous lines from the film – fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free – inspired him not to give up.

Before his conviction, life seemed good for the man who was one of five siblings and had started work and got married after graduating from a good university.

He had met his wife Xie Mouming on campus and they married in 1997, with their son born shortly after the wedding.

When the murders happened he had risen to become the director of the cast iron foundry and also a local party official.

But after the killings, police discovered that he had been secretly having an affair with a work colleague, Meng Mouhong.

They claimed he killed his wife when she found out about it and suffocated his son to stop him crying after seeing what had happened.

The court at the time decided that on arriving home in the early hours of the morning, he had had a row with his wife.

Then angered at her treatment of him, he decided to kill her before burning the bodies in the foundry at the ironworks.

He was sentenced to death, and his lover was branded an accomplice and jailed for eight years.

As his campaign for freedom continued, this was later changed to life in part because the evidence was called into question.

Li Yuqian and Xie Chuming pose in an undated photo. Li Yuqian was released after serving 21 years in prison for murdering his wife and child in Guizhou, China. (AsiaWire)

In September 2001, the original conviction was eventually overturned.

But he was not released because the Guizhou Higher Court ordered a retrial, which has taken place.

But the judges felt the case is so complicated, they have still not confirmed their verdict, which is believed to be that he is innocent.

As a result, he ended up being released not because he was no longer guilty, but because his sentence had come to an end.

In the meantime, his father and his mother died, and he lost the last 21 years of his life.

He said: “I suffered particularly around 2003 and 2004, but I was helped along by my family, and also inspired by the Shawshank redemption with the quote: “Fear Can Hold You Prisoner, Hope Can Set You Free’.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Michael LeidigSub-EditorMarija Stojkoska, Agency: Asia Wire Report

The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.


We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Signup to our Newsletter