TAIWAN: MURDERER ESCAPES DEATH SENTENCE IN SECOND TRIAL
June 24, 2020:
A man who raped and killed a female model in Taipei's Nangang District in 2017 avoided a death sentence in a second trial that concluded on 23 June 2020. (Sources: Taiwan News, 23/06/2020)
In February 2017, Cheng Yu invited a 23-year-old woman surnamed Chen to a photoshoot to take place in early March. Cheng used his then-girlfriend's Facebook account to send the invitation.
On the day of the photoshoot, Cheng took Chen to the basement of a building, where he raped and strangled her. Cheng stole the victim's cell phone and credit cards, which he later used to make purchases.
Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Cheng. In the first trial, the Shilin District Court sentenced Cheng to life in prison for the murder.
In order to overturn that sentence in pursuit of the death penalty, an appeal was issued to the Taiwan High Court, and the judges delivered their verdict on 23 June, turning it down. Those who still wish to seek the death penalty for Cheng can take the further step of applying for a Supreme Court hearing.
High Court Spokeswoman Wang Ping-hsia said that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights have been internalized in Taiwan's law and that Cheng's acts were undeserving of a death sentence. Wang also cited an expert's psychological assessment of Cheng, which indicated that careful supervision would reduce the possibility of recidivism; therefore, the court held that it was not necessary to pursue capital punishment.