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Bill on death penalty for child killers to be discussed Thursday

2016/03/28 23:01:03

suspected killer (center)

Taipei, March 28 (CNA) The horrifying beheading of a young girl in Taipei has prompted lawmakers to quickly consider a Criminal Code amendment that would require random killers of children to be sentenced to death.

The bill was proposed by indignant legislators echoing public anger at a 33-year-old suspect who brutally murdered a four-year-old girl by decapitating her in broad daylight in Neihu.

Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Lin Wei-chou (林為洲), one of the conveners of the Legislature's Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, said some committee members wanted to put off the bill's review until people had time to calm down.

But the committee concluded that the issue in fact warranted a thorough debate, so he decided to put the amendment on the committee's agenda on March 31.

KMT Legislator Wang Yu-min (王育敏) said the attack was simply unacceptable, and she and other KMT lawmakers like Hsu Chih-jung (徐志榮) called for public support for their proposal that would stipulate automatic death penalties, or life sentences under specific circumstances, for people who murder children under the age of 12.

The lawmakers said the inhuman murder of a child was no different from killing one's own parents and represented an act that they said deserved capital punishment.

Lin said officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of the Interior and the Judicial Yuan will be invited to present their views on the subject at the committee meeting on March 31.

The death penalty is legal in Taiwan, and polls indicate it still has widespread support, though calls for abolishing capital punishment have grown louder.

Monday's tragedy prompted a civic group to call for 10,000 people to take to the streets on April 9 to demand that the government abide by the law and hand down a death sentence to anyone who deserves one.

"Execute those who should be executed," said a Facebook post by the White Rose Social Concerns Association, which called for death sentences for mass drug dealers and random killers, whom they said should not be seen in the same light as the mentally challenged.

"When safety is not provided, what is the government for? When the government does not abide by the law, what do the people expect from the law?" it contended.

(By Wen Kui-hsiang, Hsu Chih-wei and S.C. Chang)
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