Sit-in held over child abuse case

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 4

More than 100 people yesterday held a sit-in in front of the Judicial Yuan to protest a recent court sentence which commuted the main defendant’s death sentence to 30 years in jail in a case in which a two-year-old child died from physical abuse.

The protestors asked the Judicial Yuan to send the three judges who decided on the ruling to the Control Yuan to be impeached.

Protestors held up pictures of the body of Wang Hao (王昊), which was covered in scars and bruises, as well as pictures of two other seriously abused children and signs that read: “Unfair justice” and “Dinosaur judges.”

Wang Wei-chun (王薇君), Wang Hao’s aunt, said the judges lacked empathy for abused children and their families.

Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Lin Jiin-fang (林錦芳), who came out to meet the protesters, said that the Judicial Yuan understood the pain of Wang Hao’s family.

“Although judges hear judicial cases independently, their rulings should not be isolated from the public’s feelings and expectations,” Lin said. “The Judicial Yuan promises to improve and strives to ensure that judicial rulings match the public’s feelings and expectations.”

Wang Hao died following severe physical abuse last year after his mother took him to stay with Liu Chin-lung (劉金龍) when the child’s father was sent to prison.

Liu and his friends Chou Chien-hui (周建輝), Hsu Kuan-hsiung (許冠雄) and Cheng Sheng-feng (鄭盛峰) — who all had criminal records — were accused of using hammers to break the toddler’s nose and limbs, using needle-nose pliers to rip off his nails and of injecting him with amphetamines and heroin.

The Taipei District Court had given Liu the death sentence, Chou life imprisonment, Hsu 13 years in prison and Cheng 14 years in prison on murder charges.

On Tuesday, the Taiwan High Court ruled that the suspects had shown some conscience, and commuted Liu’s death sentence to 30 years in jail, while Chou’s sentence was reduced to 20 years and Hsu’s to nine.

Cheng’s sentence remained unchanged at 14 years.