UCLA Basketball Players Released on Bail in China

Three UCLA freshmen have been arrested after allegedly shoplifting in Hangzhou, China.  LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were believed to have attempted shoplifting sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store at the hotel where the basketball team was staying.  The three young men were released on bail but will not be allowed to return to the United States with the rest of the UCLA basketball team. The men could be required to stay in China for up to a month on house arrest.  Head Coach Steve Alford has already announced that the men involved in the publicity nightmare will sit during the game against Georgia Tech scheduled for Friday night in Shanghai.  Strict laws in China require that suspects accused of a crime remain in China until the case is resolved.  Sources believe that this could take weeks or even years and it carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

While the men may not serve any time, and may be able to return to the United States sooner rather than later, it does bring the question of how criminal cases are handled in other countries.  Chinese laws and rights of those arrested differ from those in the United States.  For instance, you are not entitled to a free, court-appointed attorney.  While some courts in China provide one, on request, many require that you pay for any lawyers’ fees out of pocket.  A U.S. Citizen who breaks the law in China is subject to Chinese laws and if found guilty of the crime must serve the prison sentence in China.  In the present case, after posting bail, the three men will remain at the hotel where they were staying.

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