People panic too much. Yeah the people behind this should go to jail but the genetic changes will most likely do nothing. It's like some families carry the gene for certain disorders but never suffer from it in life. People panic over artificial intelligence but chances are it will never turn out like in the movies. It's the same fear like when I was a kid there was a bully in the neighborhood and one day a small dog barking charged towards him and the bully was running away and hiding behind other people scared of the dog. The fear is because he's not in control. He can't intimidate the dog like he can people. Why does the West want to prevent China from developing technologies they're okay with developing themselves.? They're not in control of it hence they fear it.
I'm all for genetic research and editing. We're just nowhere near doing it safely with full understanding of consequences. This man's actions while commendable in a few ways is jail worthy simply because he played with lives of other's without their consent, all the while not completely understanding the consequences of the changes he's made. He forced the risks on other's while he'd benefit immensely if the gamble paid off (along with humanity). I don't understand the first thing about this field of science but I doubt such extreme jumps and risks are necessary for progressing it.
CCP handing out a jail sentence is the right call and should have nothing to do with outside influence, publicity, or technology. Letting this particular crime go will set up a precedence that'll eventually be abused.