By Laura Zhang
In March 2016, a Taiwanese 4-year-old girl nicknamed “little light bulb” was murdered in front her mother on a street in Taipei. Despite the horrendous incident, however, the mother’s reaction to the public uproar has been one of clam and understanding. Her reaction has won praise by many..
However, the public outrage reignited once again when the Taipei Shilin District Court on 12 May sentenced the suspect, Wang Ching-yu, to life imprisonment . Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Wang.
The judge, Tsai Shou-hsun, said that Wang is “mentally handicapped”, as he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Therefore, he would be jailed for life, instead of being sentenced to death.
The attack took place when Wang, 34, grabbed the 4-year old from behindwhen she was cycling alongside her mother on their way to meet the girl’s grandfather. Wang beheaded the girl with a cleaver, and continued to stab her 23 times more, despite her mother’s desperate attempts to stop the attack.
After the arrest, a mob surrounded the police station, condemning Wang, and called for justice to be meted out to Wang.
Wang showed no any emotion.
The police said Wang had committed drug-related crimes 10 years ago. Jobless, Wang was relying on his parents for finances. He had also been admitted to a mental hospital after he had brutally beaten his mother. Police officers also discovered 29 notebooks with notes such as, “Looking for Sichuan girls for carrying on family line” (Sichuan is a province in China). Wang had also told police the murder was spurred by the intention of passing on his family line. It is unclear what he meant.
Prosecutors said that blood tests showed he was not under the influence of drugs, as some thought. Psychiatric reports said Wang was mentally stable to be responsible for his actions.
Taiwan resumed capital punishment in 2010 after a five-year hiatus after opinion polls were conducted island-wide, whereby 80 per cent of the Taiwanese population supported the death penalty.
The mother of the deceased, Claire Wang, said that country has become increasingly unsafe.
Following the judgement, netizens reacted with outrage, and directed their anger at the judges. Many Taiwanese dressed in black calling for Wang to be sentenced to death.
“It’s the judges who are mentally unsound,” some said. Others called the the judges “dinosaurs” (referring to the judgement which is inadequate for the crime.
In the midst of public anger, Ms Wang’s reaction is one of calm, despite the loss of her daughter in such unimaginable circumstances.
“Give your tightest and most loving hug to your dearest loved ones and tell them that you love them,” she said.
“The world,” she said, “is still a beautiful place.”
Referring to the incident itself, she said that “this is not a problem that can be solved by passing a law.”
“I hope we can address the problem from its roots, the perspective of family and education, so there will no longer be such perpetrators in our society,” she explained.