TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The family of a teenager who was fatally attacked at school late last year called for swift and harsh sentencing for murderers at a memorial service held in New Taipei on Thursday (Jan. 25).
Relatives, friends, and classmates gathered at a Banqiao District funeral home for the service, alongside New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) and Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠), per CNA. The slain boy’s father was presented with an honorary high school graduation certificate for his son, and attendees released balloons to say goodbye.
In an open letter also published on Thursday, the family said the loss of their son had devastated the family. They also thanked the public and city government for the assistance they had received after the incident.
The family questioned what would happen if the death penalty was not available to the judiciary as a punishment for crime. The letter suggested that if capital punishment was not available, those who kill may end up doing so again.
The family asked for murderers and instigators to receive the punishment they deserve. The knife attack that left the student dead allegedly occurred after a classmate complained about the victim.
The family said the alleged instigator should also be “severely punished” by law. The letter said leaving people who instigate such crimes in schools is like a “time bomb,” and there is no way to prepare for what they may do.
The death of the student sent shockwaves through Taiwanese society when it occurred on Dec. 25. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) addressed the incident in the days following, and convened local government meetings to discuss improvements to social safety measures.
New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih arrives at the memorial service on Thursday. (CNA Photo)