China's supreme court has ruled that a young man executed 21 years ago for rape and murder had been innocent.

The court issued its ruling Friday in the case of Nie Shubin that has drawn attention to problems in the legal system as well as the frequent application of the death penalty.

Nie was 20 at the time of his 1995 execution. Another man, Wang Shujin, confessed to the crimes in 2005 while in police custody, although a legal review of the case did not get underway until 2014.

China ordered speeded-up trials and executions during anti-crime campaigns in the 1990s.

Two years ago, another court ruled that 18-year-old Huugjilt, who was executed in 1996 for rape and murder, also was innocent and awarded his parents compensation.