Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) yesterday filed an extraordinary appeal with the Supreme Court asking it to review a High Court ruling it upheld that reduced the death sentence given to the main defendant in the case of a child who was physically abused and killed to 30 years in jail.
Huang said Liu Chin-lung’s (劉金龍) 30-year sentence is too lenient a punishment for the horrible abuse he and his accomplices subjected the two-year-old child, Wang Hao (王昊), to.
Liu should be found guilty of murder, not assault leading to death, as the Supreme Court ruled when it handled the case, the prosecutor-general said.
Wang died after suffering prolonged and severe physical abuse last year.
His mother, Pan Mei-fang (潘美芳), had left him in Liu’s care after the child’s father was sent to prison on drug charges.
Liu and three 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 sentenced Liu to death and gave Chou a life sentence, while Hsu was given 13 years in prison and Cheng 14 years on murder charges.
In February, the Taiwan High Court ruled that the suspects had shown some remorse 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.
The Supreme Court last month handed down a final ruling upholding the High Court’s decision.
The final ruling failed to clarify how much amphetamines and heroin the defendants injected into Wang, but evidence shows that the child was given heroin six times in three days, Huang said.
Huang said injecting a person with heroin could be fatal and can thereby constitute a murder charge.