TAIWAN: WOMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER MARITICIDE
June 13, 2013: The Taiwan Supreme Court upheld a High Court ruling to sentence a woman to death for murdering her husband to claim insurance benefits.
Lin Yu-ju, 32, was previously sentenced to two life sentences for murdering her mother and mother-in-law, which was also done for insurance money.
The latest ruling means Lin will become the first female death-row inmate in Taiwan in 23 years, local media reported.
The court ruling said Lin, starting in 2004, had accumulated huge gambling debts. She asked her mother for financial assistance in repaying her debts but was rejected.
In an act of revenge in November 2008, Lin pushed her mother down stairs at home as the latter was walking in the house. Lin's mother died at the scene and Lin subsequently claimed NT$5.05 million in life insurance money.
Six months later, Lin killed her mother-in-law by putting powdered sleeping pills and anti-depressant pills at her intravenous drip during her trip to a hospital in May 2009. She later claimed NT$7.43 million in insurance.
Two months after her mother-in-law's death, Lin used the same method and poisoned her husband at home and then added more poison to his intravenous drip while he was hospitalized. Lin's husband died and she later claimed another NT$4.75 million insurance money.
The triple murders came under the spotlight after Lin's Insurance companies discovered irregularities in the claims and reported them to the police.
Lin admitted to the three murders during the investigation.
During her trials, Lin's attorney, however, argued that Lin committed the crimes because she has suffered serious depression after marrying her husband.
The attorney also argued that Lin, who has an IQ around 57, is of limited intelligence capacity, and therefore should not be sentenced to the death penalty for her crimes.
But the arguments were rejected by the judges. The court said the fact that Lin was able to arrange the elaborate triple murder scheme proves that she has enough intelligence capability.
Lin is the second person that has been given death sentence over the past year. The number of death-row inmates now stands at 51. Taiwan executed six more death-row inmates in April. (Sources: The China Post 14/06/2013)