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Cop killer sentenced to death in south Taiwan

Lin Hsin-wu stabbed two police officers when they tried to arrest him for stealing scooter

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Lin Hsin-wu (right) being escorted by police. 

Lin Hsin-wu (right) being escorted by police.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man convicted of stabbing two police officers to death in Tainan City last year has been given the death penalty.

During a trial that lasted more than a year and despite Lin Hsin-wu (林信吾) expressing remorse to the families of the two police officers who died, his apology was not accepted. On Wednesday morning (Nov. 23), the first-instance verdict was issued, and the judge sentenced Lin to death, reported FTV News.

On the morning of Aug. 22, 2022, Lin, who had escaped from Mingde Minimum-Security Prison in Tainan, fatally stabbed 36-year-old Tu Ming-cheng (凃明誠) and 27-year-old Tsao Jui-chieh (曹瑞傑) when they tried to apprehend him for stealing a scooter. Lin claims that he had become enraged when an officer pepper sprayed him. He stabbed Tu 17 times and Tsao 38 times.

At the end of October of this year, prosecutors concluded the investigation and requested the death penalty. The judge said Lin's actions were serious, sentenced him to death, and imposed a lifelong deprivation of civil rights.

Tainan District Court Administrative Judge Liu I-tzu (劉怡孜) was cited by the news agency as saying: "The defendant's intention to kill was firm, and his methods were brutal and inhumane. This court determined that there was no reasonable expectation that the defendant could reduce the possibility of recidivism through correctional rehabilitation. It is deemed necessary to deprive him of his life and permanently isolate him from society.”

Family members said this was not belated justice, but a rightful acknowledgment from the judiciary that is owed to the families.

A sister of deceased officer Tu said, "I believe that Taiwan is a society governed by the rule of law. The judiciary has its own independence. The right thing may be difficult, but it always needs a start."

The uncle of deceased officer Tsao said, "This is justice for the grassroots police officers."

"Our Tsao and Tu families absolutely reject his apology. He must take appropriate responsibility for his actions," said Tsao's uncle.

The death sentence issued by the court can be appealed. The families said they will continue to monitor the situation and ensure that Lin receives the "most severe punishment."