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Talk of the Day -- Debate over handling of frustrated writer
Central News Agency
2014-03-09 04:28 PM
A court agreed on Saturday to prosecutors' request to detain a 20-year-old man in Taoyuan who threatened online to burn down a publishing company that repeatedly rejected his submissions. The ruling sparked a debate over whether the court's move was warranted. The man, surnamed Cho, was arrested Friday night for threatening on Facebook to attack Gaea Books and "behead" its editor in chief. Pictures of gasoline barrels and knives on his page raised concerns among other netizens, and he was reported to the police March 3. The following are excerpts of media coverage Sunday on the debate over the court's ruling: United Daily News: Yeh Yu-lan, an associate professor at Central Police University, said the decision by a Taoyuan court to allow prosecutors to detain Cho Yu-ting, who is studying at a vocational school, demonstrated the inconsistency of judges in handling similar or even more serious cases. She cited the case of a man who rammed his truck into the Presidential Office in January, in which judges decided against ordering the man detained on the grounds that he had little chance of fleeing due to the injuries he suffered in the attack. Questioning the judgment of local judges, Yeh said they have adopted different standards in dealing with acts of violence as in the January attack and menacing posts by a student without a criminal record. She urged the Judicial Yuan to create standards to better guide judges and prevent such inconsistencies in their rulings. That view was echoed by lawyer Lin Chun-feng, citing the decision by judges to grant bail to Andrew Chiang, a great-grandson of late ROC President Chiang Kai-shek, after he allegedly made threats against Taipei American School late last year. An unidentified local judge said, however, that the detention ruling sounded an alert and could act as a deterrent against similar acts at a time when online threats are proliferating. The judge also contended that ordering Cho detained was justified because of suspicions he may have had two accomplices who are now on the run. Cho is an adult and should take responsibility for his behavior, argued the judge, who said the posting of targeted menacing remarks on Facebook constituted a criminal act. (March 9, 2014) China Times: Authorities at Cho's school said Cho seemed to become a different person once he escaped into virtual reality. They said Cho behaves like any other student when he is at school and noted that his grades have been above average. But the normally quiet student seems to become a changed man once online, revealing "a wide gap with how he behaves in the real world," they said. Cho has admitted to the allegations but argued he was goaded by Internet users into being provocative to get attention and said, "I would actually never do that." The student said he was "willing to apologize for being so provocative." (March 9, 2014) (By Scully Hsiao)
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