The Supreme Court held a hearing yesterday to examine the justification of a death sentence handed down by lower courts to a man who killed his father. It is expected to announce its verdict on Jan. 30.
Chen Yu-an (陳昱安) was found guilty in September 2010 of killing his father by stabbing him more than 110 times. Chen was sentenced to death by a district court and the sentence was upheld by the Taiwan High Court.
Appealing for mercy for Chen during the hearing, lawyer Wang Pao-li (王寶蒞) said the tragedy was the result of a number of “objective factors.”
He said Chen was mentally ill, had problems sleeping and did not get along well with his parents. His father often scolded the unemployed Chen and threatened to kick him out of the family, Wang said.
Given that Chen had had no previous criminal record and showed remorse during the first trial, the court should reconsider the death sentence, Wang said.
However, prosecutor Chen Wen-li (陳文禮) said a psychiatric assessment of the defendant had determined that he had full mentally capacity at the time of the crime, as evidenced by his clear description of the murder.
The defendant made notes detailing his plan prior to the murder, which demonstrated that the crime was premeditated, the prosecutor said.
The defendant once said he felt “no remorse” immediately after the killing, the prosecutor added.
The father, who was in his 50s, was working to support his family and his request that his son find a job was what most parents would expect of their children, Chen Wen-li said.
It was ungrateful of the son to kill his father just because he was told to find a job, Chen Wen-li said.
The prosecutor cited a letter written by Chen Yu-an’s mother, in which she asked that the death sentence be upheld, adding she feared her son would cause “bloodshed” and endanger the whole family if released from prison.