Most of us at some point in our lives have wished there were two of us. Maybe we had to be in multiple places at once, needed an extra hand around the house, or were struggling to keep up at work. Whatever the case, we were probably feeling a bit overwhelmed and would have loved to share the burden with someone else, a body double perhaps.
Stand-In for Hire
In China, those that can afford to do so can in fact hire a body double to share a major burden – prison time. According to an article at Slate.com, the practice of hiring “body doubles” or “stand-ins” to serve prison terms has been well documented by official Chinese media. In fact, the practice is so common in China that there’s even a term for it: ding zui or “substitute criminal.”
According to Slate, the ability to hire “substitute criminals” is just one example of how the wealthiest individuals in China seem to live by their own set of rules. In China, the top one-tenth of 1 percent control nearly half of the country’s riches which affords them benefits not enjoyed by their fellow countrymen and women, including protection from criminal allegations.
Rule of People
In the article, a police officer in central China explained that “China has the rule of people” instead of law and that if an individual is powerful, they can “spend some money and remain free.” The officer went on to say that hired stand-ins are “not common but not rate either” and listed several high-ranking mafia figures whose underlings serve prison time in their place.
Outside of hired body-doubles, it has also been documented that family members have covered for one another in some cases, most notably traffic accidents where the police may be able to identify the vehicle involved in the crime but not the driver. Thankfully, this has occurred less frequently as technology – smartphones, the Internet, etc. – has improved.
So here’s the question: Would you rent a body double if you could afford to do so?