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Metro killer executed

2016/05/10 23:01:27

Cheng Chieh (left) appears in a court session in August 2015.

Taipei, May 10 (CNA) Cheng Chieh (鄭捷), who killed four people and injured 22 others in a random knife attack on a Taipei Metro train in May 2014, was executed Tuesday after the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for him last month, the Ministry of Justice confirmed.

The execution was carried out between 8:47 p.m. and 8:51 p.m., with three pistol shots administered, according to the ministry.

The number of death row inmates in Taiwan dropped to 42.

The following is a timeline of the Cheng Chieh case:

●May 21, 2014: 4 dead, 21 injured in stabbing on Taipei metro

Cheng, then a student at Tunghai University, attacks passengers on the Taipei metro at around 4:22 p.m. on the Bannan line between Longshan Temple Station in Taipei and Jiangzicui Station in New Taipei. The attack leaves four people dead and 22 injured.

●May 22, 2014: Alleged metro assailant described as loner planning 'something big'

●May 27, 2014: Under pressure, metro attacker's parents offer tearful apology

[A black-and-white message mourning victims of the attack is shown across the metro system. CNA photo May 27, 2014]

●July 21, 2014:

The New Taipei District Prosecutors Office indict Cheng, charging him with four counts of murder, 13 counts of attempted murder and the attempted murder of nine under-aged persons.

In the indictment, the prosecutors ask the court to give Cheng the death penalty for the crime, which they characterize as "mass killings" that were "heinous and appalling".

●Feb. 3, 2015:

Cheng exhibits self-centered, narcissistic tendencies, along with other personality disorders, according to a psychological assessment report compiled by Shen Sheng-ang (沈勝昂), a criminologist and professor at the Central Police University in Greater Taoyuan, based on interviews with and observations of Cheng.

"There is a possibility that Cheng could be reformed, but it would be very difficult," according to the report.

●Feb. 10, 2015:

In a statement through his lawyer, Cheng acknowledges for the first time that his actions were wrong and that if he could go back, he would not have committed the crime.

[An image captured from a video clip shot by a passenger during the attack.]

●March 6, 2015:

The New Taipei District Court sentences him to death and rules that he should be deprived of his civil rights for life. The case can be appealed.

●Aug. 7, 2015:

The New Taipei District Court order Cheng to pay NT$30.91 million in compensation to his victims and the relatives of the people killed.

●Oct. 30, 2015: High court upholds death sentence against Taipei Metro attacker

The Taiwan High Court uphold the death sentence against Cheng and revokes his civil rights. The case can be appealed.

●Jan. 7, 2016: Court awards NT$60 million to victims of Taipei Metro attack

●April 7, 2016:

Cheng appears in person at the Supreme Court for a trial hearing to appeal his death sentence. It is the first time a defendant on death row has appeared at the Supreme Court for a trial hearing.

Reading from a prepared statement, Cheng says during the hearing that he wanted to apologize to the victims and their families.

He expresses hope that the judicial process can end soon and says he deserves to be put to death.

●April 22, 2016: Court upholds death sentence for knifeman in Taipei metro attack

The Supreme Court upholds the death sentence for Cheng. The verdict is final and cannot be appealed.

The court says there was clear evidence that the defendant committed an act defined as one of the most severe crimes by the U.N. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The justices also say that Cheng was of sound mind and in control of his actions at the time of the attack, and there was no indication of a psychiatric disorder or loss of mental faculties.

●May 10, 2016:

Cheng is executed after the Ministry of Justice signs the execution order.

(By Page Tsai and Evelyn Kao)

●April 21, 2016: Nearly 9 out of 10 in Taiwan want to keep death penalty: poll
●Photo story: Taipei Metro at 20, now and then

Front pages of local newspapers May 11: