Tue, Mar 14, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Prosecutors appeal against murderer’s sentence of death

’LOSS OF LOVE’:Despite the victim being stabbed 176 times, the prosecutors offices said a probe into the killing revealed no evidence of any ‘base’ motivations

By Chien Lee-chung, Chiu Yan-ling and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Convicted murderer Wang Hung-wei, right, is escorted by police officers after attending an appeal ruling at the Taiwan High Court on Aug. 31, 2007.

Photo: Sun Yu-lien, Taipei Times

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office yesterday filed an extraordinary appeal against convicted murderer Wang Hung-wei’s (王鴻偉) death penalty, saying that he has shown remorse and is a good prospect for rehabilitation.

Wang was sentenced to death in 2009 for stabbing 20-year-old Chang Ya-ling (張雅玲) to death on Sept. 26, 2000. Wang, who was 30 at the time of the murder, had been stalking Chang after she turned down his advances, and on the night of the murder he knocked Chang unconscious with his car and then took her to a remote location where he stabbed her 176 times in the neck.

The office said that Wang was driven to murder by “loss of love,” which it said was different from premeditated murder, adding that the court failed to investigate whether there was a chance of Wang’s rehabilitation.

Prosecutor-General Yen Ta-ho (顏大和) on Friday last week filed an extraordinary appeal on Wang’s behalf, it said.

The decision was made after a discussion regarding the police investigation report, adding that no evidence was found of intent, propensity toward murder, sexual addiction or any other “base” motivation on Wang’s part, Yen said.

Wang’s actions did not constitute extreme homicidal behavior, such as is exhibited in serial homicide cases, public mass murders and murders where victims are chosen without reason, Yen said.

The death penalty ruling did not conform with the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of those Facing the Death Penalty, Yen said.

Yen said that according to those guidelines “in countries that have not abolished the death penalty it should only be used for the most extreme offenses.”

The use of capital punishment in Wang’s case contradicts the usual practice of the Supreme Court and violates the principals of equality, Yen said.

Chang’s sister yesterday said that she was shocked to hear the news, as she did not expect the verdict to be appealed after 17 years, adding that the law now seems to protect criminals.

“Is rejection the same thing as ‘loss of love?’ Is putting a watermelon knife in one’s car not ‘premeditation’? Is a person who stabs someone 176 times able to be rehabilitated?” People First Party Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said on Facebook.

Liu expressed concern over the potential effects on Chang’s family and questioned the prosecutors’ sense of empathy.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus deputy secretary-general Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said that filing an extraordinary appeal in Wang’s case is inappropriate, citing the multiple stab wounds and the intentional placing of the body in the parking lot where it was found.

Lin called Wang’s actions “savage” and “inhumane.”

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