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Nantou mass shooter awaits death penalty ruling as life sentence upheld

03/01/2024 09:49 PM
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Lee Hung-yuan (second left). CNA file photo
Lee Hung-yuan (second left). CNA file photo

Taipei, March 1 (CNA) The Taiwan Supreme Court on Friday upheld a life sentence given to a mass shooter who killed four people in Nantou, pending a ruling on the constitutionality of the death penalty.

Lee Hung-yuan (李鴻淵) was originally sentenced to death by the Nantou District Court for severely injuring and killing the brother and daughter of Kang Jian Biotech Chairman Lai Min-nan (賴敏男) as well as two of the company's employees surnamed Chang (張) and Liu (劉) on July 14, 2022.

Despite admitting guilt, Lee appealed the sentence.

However, the High Court's Taichung Branch in December last year upheld the ruling handed down by the district court, considering that a forensic psychiatric examination of the accused conducted by Taiwan Forensic Psychology Association determined there was little chance of rehabilitation.

In addition, the court said, Lee's actions could be interpreted as the "most serious crimes" possible under the United Nations' International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

As such, the death penalty is the only way to maintain social order and justice in response to Lee's multiple crimes and malicious behavior in taking the lives of others, the high court found.

Friday's ruling on Lee's life sentence is final, with the Supreme Court stating that it did not find fault with the lower court's ruling.

However, the Supreme Court said Lee's appeal against his death sentence was not reviewed because it was waiting for the Constitutional Court to hear arguments on whether the death penalty is constitutional.

The hearing by the Constitutional Court, which is due in April, comes after several death-row prisoners have filed a petition for a ruling on whether the death penalty is unconstitutional.

(By Hsieh Hsin-en, Evelyn Kao, Flor Wang and Ko Lin)

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