High court commutes mother’s death sentence for murdering children to life in prison

The Taiwan High Court on Thursday issued a ruling resentencing a woman facing the death penalty to life in prison for the murders of her two children, citing the perpetrator's depression and remorse.

The 31-year-old woman, surnamed Wu (?), had originally been sentenced to death in November last year by the New Taipei District Court for the murders of her 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son.

The initial verdict said Wu had committed the "extremely cruel and cold-blooded" murders solely because of stress and dissatisfaction with her personal circumstances, adding that she had failed to show any signs of remorse for her crimes.

Wu appealed the district court's ruling, and it was reversed by the high court Thursday, which resentenced Wu to life imprisonment and disfranchisement for life.

The high court based its decision on the fact that Wu had been diagnosed as having severe depression, and because she had committed the murders at a time when she was afflicted by tremendous stress.

According to the court, Wu has shown remorse for her wrongdoing while in prison.

Although the court took note of the flaws in Wu's personality and mentality, it considered that she did not exhibit behaviors against humanity, nor did she show antisocial tendencies.

Therefore, the court concluded that it would not be necessary to impose the death penalty on Wu, and suggested that she receive therapy.

The case can still be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Wu was found guilty of murder for killing her two children in February 2020.

According to the court, after Wu had an argument with her brother and his wife on the evening of Feb. 13, she drove with her children to a motel in New Taipei's Wugu District. She then attempted to suffocate her children to death with pillows, failing after they fought back.

Two days later, at the same motel, Wu drugged her children with sleeping pills and then killed them by strangling them with a rope.

Wu then texted her ex-husband, the father of the two murdered children, bidding him farewell, after which she ingested sleeping pills, antidepressant drugs and alcohol in a failed attempt at suicide.

Upon receiving the text, Wu's ex-husband rushed to the motel, where he found the two children dead and Wu alive but lethargic. Wu was later rushed to the hospital and treated.

During the trial, Wu confessed to committing the murders, saying she had felt overwhelmed with the burden of caring for two children on her own for the past seven years.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel