01 December 2020 :
A woman who killed her young son and daughter before attempting suicide earlier this year was sentenced to death by the New Taipei District Court on 25 November 2020, for a crime described by the court as "extremely cruel and cold-blooded."
The 30-year-old woman, surnamed Wu, was a single mother who raised an 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son on her own after a divorce.
On 13 February this year, after an argument with her brother and his wife, Wu drove her children to a motel in New Taipei's Wugu District to stay overnight. While in the room that night, she attempted to suffocate the children with pillows, but failed as they fought back, according to the court.
Two days later, however, Wu drugged her children with sleeping pills before strangling them with a rope in the motel. She later texted her ex-husband a message that read: "I'm gone. I'm going to be with the kids, or they will feel lonely," according to the court.
Wu's ex-husband rushed to the motel only to find his children dead and Wu lethargic after taking sleeping pills, antidepressant drugs and alcohol. Wu was rushed to the hospital and treated.
During the trial, Wu confessed to committing the murders, saying that she had felt overwhelmed with the burden of caring for two children on her own.
In its verdict, the court wrote that Wu had committed the "extremely cruel and cold-blooded" murders solely because of stress and dissatisfaction with her personal circumstances, and had failed to show any sign of remorse for her crimes.
While acknowledging that there is an ongoing debate over capital punishment in Taiwanese society, the court said it had a responsibility to uphold the "inherent right to life" guaranteed to every child, citing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In response to the ruling, Wu's defense lawyer, Liao Hui-fang, wrote in a Facebook post on 26 November that the court had ignored mitigating factors in her client's personal life, and had imposed the death penalty out of deference to public opinion.
The verdict can be appealed.