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The American death penalty is extraordinarily fragile, with death sentences and executions on the decline. Public support for the death penalty has diminished. The practice is increasingly marginalized around the world. California, with its disproportionately large share of American death-row inmates, announces an end to the death penalty. The year? 1972. That’s when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty inconsistent with the state’s constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishments—only to have the death penalty restored a year later through popular initiative and legislation.
On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject…

Taiwan: Father of murdered 'Little Light Bulb' tired of apologies, wants death penalty for killer

 Liu Ta-ching (劉大經)
The father of a 4-year-old girl who was brutally decapitated in broad daylight on the streets of Taipei two years ago, has had enough of apologies from the suspect and wants the judges to sentence the man to death, reported CNA.

During a court hearing over the brutal murder of a little girl on Tuesday (June 5), the suspect, Wang Ching-yu, apologized by saying, "I'm sorry, please forgive me," but afterwards the father, Liu Ta-ching, told reporters that he refused to accept the apology and expressed his hope that the judges would sentence Wang to death.

On March 28, 2016, a 4-year-old girl, nicknamed "Little Light Bulb" was riding her bike just a few meters in front of her mother on a Taipei street, when Wang Ching-yu, then 33, suddenly grabbed her behind and slashing her neck with a knife. Her mother tried to stop Wang, but he fended her off as he decapitated the little girl.

Last May, judges at the Shilin District Court determined that Wang suffered from schizophrenia and based on provisions of the United Nations he could not be sentenced to death. The prosecution appealed the case to the high court and sentencing will be decided on July 3.

Recalling the day when he saw his daughter's body after the murder, Liu said that he kneeled down and lifted the white sheet covering her body and said, "I saw my Little Light Bulb, her eyes half open and frozen in place with an expression as if to say 'what happened?'"

Liu said that part of his life died when she was murdered, and as society is unable to deal with the risk of Wang repeating such heinous crimes, "Any sentence outside of the death penalty is likely to put the public at risk of depriving another innocent person from their right to life, which is a serious violation of human rights."

The mother of the little girl, Claire Wang, said that through the efforts of the prosecutor, judge and expert witnesses, she learned to understand why Wang had gone to such an extreme, and that given the current situation in society and government policies, there is no way for him to be permanently cured, nor is it possible for them to prevent him from repeating his crimes.

Claire said that no parent can imagine losing their child while walking down the street and she hopes that such a tragedy will never happen again. She expressed her hope that the court will provide basic security, esnure that he will never repeat his crimes, and never allow him to return to society.

Noticing that Claire was crying during the hearing, the presiding judge apologized to her and said the details of the crime made him shudder, but also said the guilt of the defendant must be proven in a court of law and the court does not wish to cause additional harm.

Wang's lawyer said that because his client suffered from a cognitive impairment, he was delusional and made a mistake, and therefore his punishment should include treatment for his condition. The lawyer said that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have revealed that the death penalty should not be imposed on the mentally handicapped. He then expressed his hope that the court will reduce the punishment in accordance with these treaties and announce a treatment regimen.

The prosecution argues that Wang's act was brutal, appalling and therefore necessitates the death penalty. The lawyer for the victim's family said that the suspect showed no signs of remorse in the and asked the court to issue the death penalty.

Source: Taiwan News, Keoni Everington, June 8, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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