Taiwan executes rush-hour commuter killer who left four people dead

Taiwan has executed a man convicted two years ago of stabbing four people to death in an attack on an underground train during rush hour. Twenty-two others were injured in Cheng Chieh’s stabbing spree at Taipei’s Jiangzicui station in May, 2014. The 23-year-old was out to death on Tuesday night, the country’s justice ministry confirmed. Although it said he had been sedated, it did not say how exactly the execution had been carried out.

(This was) the only way to show publicly that justice had been served and to relieve the sorrow and pain of victims’ families.

Deputy Justice Minister Chen Ming

However, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported he had been shot at a detention centre just outside the capital. It said three shots had been heard. Although Cheng apologised to the victims, the university student never explained the reason behind the killings. The only clue he gave was in a Facebook posting in which he said he “wanted to do something big”. The underground killings, and an attack in March in which a three-year-old girl was decapitated in front of her mother, have shocked the island and strengthened support for the death penalty.