The decapitation of a four-year old girl in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) yesterday sparked public outrage and rekindled the debate over capital punishment.
Internet users questioned the necessity of abolishing the death penalty and the possibility of rehabilitating serious offenders, saying the suspect, Wang Ching-yu (王景玉), who allegedly beheaded the girl in an apparently random attack, should be given a speedy trial and immediately executed.
Netizens said that people have to pay for their wrongdoings and “criminals like Wang” have no right to live.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
“Legislators should revise the law to establish a mandatory death penalty for those convicted of random killing to prevent random attacks and protect public safety. The public is advised to pay attention to their surroundings and strangers as such incidents pose a threat to people,” Coalition Against Abolishing the Death Penalty convener Chen Cheng-yu (陳正育) said.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said she has proposed amendments to the Criminal Code to subject people who kill children under 12 to a mandatory death sentence or life sentence, and submitted the proposal for review by the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.
“I am deeply distressed by the incident. The killer’s cruelty is unforgivable,” she said. “What did a four-year-old girl do to deserve this? She was simply playing in the street, but was murdered. No one should have done this and why should not child murderers be given capital punishment?”
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
“How on earth do we protect our children?” actress June Tsai (蔡君茹) wrote on Facebook. “[The mother of the murdered girl] was closely following her daughter. Why are there still bad people hurting our children?”
TV host Jacky Wu (吳宗憲) said on Facebook that criminals and their families should be collectively punished.
“Another murder of an innocent child? The repetition of such incidents is caused by nothing other than the ‘family factor.’ The family of the suspect must have known that this person had been fooling around and had a history of drug abuse or mental illness ... They [the family] are the only people who could have prevented this tragic event. Laws must be made to enforce collective punishment,” Wu said.
Internet celebrity Lucifer Chu (朱學恒) said on Facebook: “She was simply playing in the streets. Why could we not even protect her and let her grow up safely and happily?”
Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty executive director Lin Hsin-yi (林欣怡) wrote on Facebook that she was “very, very, very sad” about the incident, saying: “How can we stop such incidents? I really hope there is a simple answer for it.”
The alliance’s legal department director, Lin Tzu-wei (林慈偉), said the group would not issue any statements or comments for the time being, as discussing abolishing the death penalty would only provoke social conflict at this point.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two