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Death penalty demanded for school murderer

Death penalty demanded for school murderer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Prosecutors on Wednesday demanded the death penalty for the man arrested as a suspect in the murder of a girl at a Taipei City elementary school last May.
Kung Chung-an, 29, a former pupil at the Taipei Municipal Wenhua Elementary School in Beitou District, climbed over a wall into the school on May 29 and lied in wait at the higher floor restrooms until an eight-year-old pupil surnamed Liu appeared. He stabbed her in the neck and she died later in hospital.
At the close of its investigation Wednesday, the Shilin District Prosecutors Office charged Kung with murder and asked the court to sentence him to death. The man used the utmost brutality against a defenseless child, inflicting severe psychological damage on the girl’s relatives and causing fear in society at large, prosecutors said.
Following the investigation into the facts and the psychological evaluation of the suspect, there was not a single reason present to ask for a lower punishment than death, prosecutors were quoted as saying. The element that he had surrendered voluntarily to police was not to be considered as a mitigating circumstance because it was part of his plan all along, and did not indicate any remorse for the crime, prosecutors said.
Kung, who reportedly had difficulty holding down a steady job, apparently told investigators that he heard voices. A judge ruled later Wednesday that he would have to stay in detention.
The murder of the little girl caused a public outpouring of grief but also concern about the safety of schools in general. The suspect had been able to enter the Beitou school over a low wall without any guards or cameras noticing him. As a result, new safety measures were implemented at the complex.
The incident elicited parallels in the media with the stabbings by student Cheng Chieh against random passengers on a Mass Rapid Transit train last year, which left four people dead and 24 injured.
Kung’s case also provoked renewed debate about the use of capital punishment, which is supported by a vast majority according to most opinion polls.

Updated : 2021-09-25 06:23 GMT+08:00