Thu, Oct 07, 1999 - Page 1 News List

Eight `bandits' are executed

DEATH PENALTY Chen Chin-hsing was finally put to death last night, along with seven others awaiting execution under the so-called `bandit law'

By Irene Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Flashback
Chen Chin-hsing is led from the Taiwan High Court after being sentenced to death last month for kidnapping and murder. He was executed last night.

PHOTO: HUANG JUI-PO, LIBERTY TIMES

Chen Chin-hsing (陳進興), the infamous murderer of TV entertainer Pai Ping-ping's (白冰冰) 17-year-old daughter, was executed yesterday at the Taipei Detention Center. But he was not alone: seven others also on death row -- all convicted under a disputed law, like Chen -- were also executed at prisons across the island.

The swift action taken by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) was criticized by human rights groups and legal experts, who have long contended the Act for the Control and Punishment of Banditry (懲治盜匪條例), under which the eight were executed, is invalid and should no longer be applied.

Amid intense media attention, Chen -- who received three death sentences for a series of killings, robberies, and rapes in 1997 -- was shot to death just after 9:30pm yesterday evening.

Before his execution, Chen had agreed to donate his heart, lungs, kidneys and corneas to patients in need. His body was removed to Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkuo (林口長庚醫院), Taipei County, for organ recovery immediately after the execution.

At the same time, there were three others executed in Taipei, Chen Wen-hai (陳文海), Yang Chin-he (楊金合), and Liu Hsing-pao (劉興寶); three in Taichung, Wang Chin-fa (王進發), Wang Chun-fang (王春芳), and Shih Shui-mu (石水木); and one in Kaohsiung, Hsu Fang-yuan (許芳源). These seven executions were for convictions for robbery, rape and manslaughter, for which the death sentence is mandatory under the bandit law.

The three members of the Hsichih Trio case -- which is believed to be seriously flawed by human rights groups because the convictions were obtained on the basis of confessions which the accused men said were extracted under torture -- were also given mandatory death sentences under the same law. However, the three, Su Chien-ho (蘇建和), Liu Bin-lang (劉秉郎), and Chuang Lin-hsun (莊林勳) were not executed yesterday evening.

Pai Hsiao-yen (白曉燕), the daughter of the popular TV entertainer Pai Ping-ping, was kidnapped and eventually killed after days of torture by Chen and two other men, Lin Chun-sheng (林春生) and Kao Tien-min (高天民), both of whom killed themselves during shootouts with police in August and November 1997, respectively.

Chen, having committed the murder of the teen in April 1997, was also responsible for a string of killings and abductions during the same year -- the abduction of a Taipei County councillor in June, the kidnapping of a businessman in August and the murder of a plastic surgeon, his wife and a nurse at the surgeon's clinic in October.

The night before his arrest on Nov. 19, 1997, Chen held hostage the family of South African military attache Colonel McGill Alexander in a walled compound in northern Taipei. After a 24-hour standoff, Chen finally surrendered himself and ended six months as a fugitive.

Last December the Supreme Court finalized three death sentences on Chen for the string of crimes. However, the Supreme Court, Taiwan's highest court of appeal, requested a review of Pai's murder because of doubts as to whether or not Chen's brother-in-law Chang Chih-hui (張志輝) was an accomplice to the crime.

After its review of the bloody kidnapping and murder, the Taiwan High Court reaffirmed Chen's death sentence on Sept. 23 this year and determined that Chen's execution -- under the previous three finalized sentencings -- would not affect judgement on Chang's case.

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