Schizophrenic killer of three-year-old girl given life

A man who stabbed a three-year-old girl to death in a random knife attack in March last year has been sentenced to life in prison. The Shihlin District Court gave the verdict Friday.

The brutal murder, which took place in Taipei, sent shockwaves through society, with many calling for the execution of the killer. But the court did not sentence Wang Ching-yu to death because he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Taiwan has signed three UN human rights covenants into law despite majority popular support for capital punishment. The covenants are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Culture rights; and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Shihlin District Court judge Huang Jieh-ru explained.

Under our Criminal Code, legal sentencing for homicide includes capital punishment, life imprisonment or more than 10 years in prison. However, the two [UN] covenants promulgated by the legislature and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have imposed restrictions on sentencing people with mental illness or schizophrenia to death. Therefore, the court is not able to sentence the defendant to death," said Huang.

Source: Radio Taiwan International