Death penalty for shoplifting

BEIJING – Two employees of a Wal-Mart store in eastern China were arrested after a woman was beaten outside the store on suspicion of being a shoplifter and died, a state-owned newspaper reported Tuesday.

The China Daily said Yu Xiaochun died 500 yards (meters) from the store in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province.

Local police said in a notice posted on their Web site that the 37-year old Yu was going home Aug. 30 when she was surrounded by five Wal-Mart employees — four men and one woman, all in their 20s — who accused her of shoplifting.

This was in China, so we can’t get too worked up about this, but this craziness over apprehending shoplifters has got to stop. Every single person who is detained over a “suspicion” of shoplifting here in the US should sue the store for violation of civil rights in federal court. If a store employee stops you because the sensormatic beeps, ask to to speak to the manager and inform him that you will be hiring a lawyer to seek damages against the store for a violation of your civil rights because they are violating your protection against unreasonable seizure and search guaranteed by the 4th amendment. If you are leaving a store like Wal-Mart and they ask to see your receipt to verify an item that you purchased, they are seizing you and searching you without probable cause.

If store managers are held accountable, these extreme cases, like the one in the above paragraph, are unlikely to happen.

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