Court upholds death penalty for arsonist

NO REMORSE::Weng Jen-hsien bought 20 liters of gasoline and waited until his family was celebrating Lunar New Year’s Eve together before he burst in and set them on fire

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - Page 2

The Taiwan High Court yesterday upheld convicted arsonist Weng Jen-hsien’s (翁仁賢) death sentence.

Weng, 53, had twice previously been found guilty of killing six people, including his parents and three relatives.

Weng had shown no remorse for his crime and there was no likelihood of rehabilitation, the court said.

Weng was convicted of killing direct family members and relatives, which is punishable by death or life imprisonment under the Criminal Code.

Weng purchased 20 liters of gasoline, which he placed into bottles and plastic containers, and deliberately waited for a day until Lunar New Year’s Eve on Feb. 7, 2016, when the victims had scheduled a family gathering, an investigation found.

Weng ran into the house, doused his family members with gasoline and set them alight, it found.

Weng killed his parents, two cousins, a cousin’s wife and his parents’ caregiver. Five other relatives sustained burns.

The High Court ruling reaffirmed the previous two rulings, which said that Weng had planned the murder — an extremely vicious crime — had no regard for human life and was devoid of any moral values.

Throughout the investigation and court proceedings, Weng did not show any remorse and his crime had affected family members and relatives, the court said, adding that he remains a danger to his family.

Weng had said that he intended to kill all of his family, because he believed that, being the youngest of the seven siblings, his parents had neglected him, and that since childhood he had to do most of the work on the farm the family owned in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭).

However, according to other testimony, Weng had a malicious nature and his siblings had their share of farm labor.

When Weng’s elder brother was called as a witness, Weng said: “My family members deserve no respect, they are worse than animals … If I could reincarnate 10 times, I would kill you 10 more times.”