[UPDATE] MRT Random Killer Apologizes and Criticizes Taiwan Prison System

[UPDATE] MRT Random Killer Apologizes and Criticizes Taiwan Prison System
Photo Credit: 民視新聞 截圖

Translated and compiled by Shin-wei Chang

[UPDATE]:

On April 22, the Supreme Court rendered a verdict and confirmed Cheng Chieh’s death penalty. The reasons are listed below:

  • Cheng was caught red-handed and the evidence is absolute.
  • When Cheng was committing the crime, he had the capacity of taking criminal responsibility instead of being mentally challenged.
  • The crime was so serious that only a death penalty could achieve justice.
  • According to the International Bill of Human Rights, Cheng has committed the worst crime. As a result, it is appropriate to sentence him to death.
  • Discussion regarding whether or not the death penalty should be abolished is protected by the freedom of speech and should be respected, but the court should render verdicts according to current laws.

(update ends)

Cheng Chieh, a 21-year-old who went on a killing spree on the MRT leaving four dead and 22 injured last May, was sentenced the death penalty in both the first and second instance respectively by a district court and the Taiwan High Court.

The decision of the Supreme Court would determine Cheng Chieh’s sentence, so the court held an appeal hearing for him to examine his opinions on April 7. This is the first case for a defendant to attend an appeal hearing.

Cheng’s three-point statement

In the debate, Cheng first apologized twice to the victims and their families. He said that he would not forgive the murderer if he were the family of the victims, so he did not expect to be forgiven.

Following his apology, Cheng expressed his appreciation for the Supreme Court giving him the chance to speak out. He said he wants to be executed as soon as possible, but he chose to cooperate because his lawyer has been working very hard for his case.

Finally, Cheng criticized the Agency of Corrections for being an “agency of punishment,” and expressed his dissatisfaction with the prison system. Cheng said that most criminals are discriminated by the society, and fail to find jobs after being released.

The verdict will be announced on April 22.

As for the stabbing of the 4-year-old girl on March 28, there have not been any updates.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
CNA
TVBS
China Times
“MRT killer says he deserves to be put to death” (Taipei Times)