Taipei-- The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a life sentence against a man who killed a second-grader at a school in Taipei's Beitou District in 2015.
The ruling is final and there is no room for further appeals in the case, which was first heard in the Shilin District Court and then in the Taiwan High Court.
The defendant, Kung Chung-an (???), was found guilty of slashing the throat of an eight-year-old girl at Wenhua Elementary School in Beitou in a random attack in May 2015.
He was sentenced to life in prison by the district court but prosecutors appealed the sentence, seeking the death penalty. The High Court on May 9 this year upheld the lower court's ruling.
Prosecutors again appealed, still seeking the death penalty, but the appeal was rejected Thursday by the Supreme Court in the final ruling.
During the first trial, Kung confessed to the killing but was given a life sentence after his lawyer presented a medical certificate that showed he was suffering from schizophrenia, resulting in delusional disorder and hallucinations.
The court ruled that while Kung had committed a heinous crime, his motive and purpose were related to his illness.
Based on the psychological and mental assessment presented during the trial, the court said there was a possibility that Kung's condition could be cured or improved and thus decided to give him a life sentence and strip him of his civil rights for life.
The Supreme Court ruling has stirred mixed reactions among different civil organizations.
Modern Women's Foundation Chief Executive Officer Fan Kuo-yung (???) said that the final ruling was not in line with "society's expectations."
Meanwhile, Chi Hui-jung (???), chief executive officer of The Garden of Hope Foundation, said the death penalty cannot solve all problems related to random killings in the society.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel