The Taiwan High Court, in its second ruling on the case, yesterday sentenced Chang Yen-wen (張彥文) to 21-and-a-half years in prison for stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death in 2014.
It had previously sentenced him to life.
Chang, 32, a graduate of National Taiwan University (NTU), was convicted in January last year of murdering his ex-girlfriend, surnamed Lin (林), by stabbing her 47 times on a street in Taipei.
In explaining the ruling, the court said that psychiatric assessments deemed Chang capable of rehabilitation, Chang’s family came to an agreement with the victim’s family over compensation and Chang had admitted his guilt.
“Regarding the conviction for homicide, Chang’s sentence was reduced to 15 years, because he reached an agreement on compensation with the victim’s family. Combined with his term for defiling a corpse, the sentence comes to 21-and-a-half years. Chang was also convicted of breaking and entering, making threats and offenses against personal liberty, for which he received a one-year sentence, commutable to a fine of NT$365,000,” the ruling said.
The ruling sparked angry reactions among netizens, with some saying that Chang had committed a horrific crime, and his appearance of remorse and offer of financial compensation did little to ameliorate his offense.
Following the court’s first ruling, the victim’s mother complained that the punishment was too light and demanded Chang’s execution.
The murder was a high-profile case which shocked many, both for the savage stabbing of a young woman on a public street, and because after the crime, Chang removed her underwear to kiss her genitalia.
Public interest was compounded as Chang had been a minor celebrity at NTU, where he had won an online gaming competition for students.
After graduating, Chang worked as an auditor for an international accounting firm. He met Lin, then aged 21 and a student teacher at a kindergarten in Taipei, in an online chat room.
Lin reportedly ended the relationship after the two took a vacation to Japan in September 2014.
According to local media reports, following negotiations between the respective teams of lawyers, Chang’s family agreed to pay NT$12.61 million (US$411,419 at the current exchange rate) compensation to Lin’s parents.
The first payment was a check for NT$4.5 million, with the rest to be paid in installments of NT$10,000 per month, over a period of 67 years and seven months, the reports said.
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