Death row inmate’s request for inflatable love doll rejected

A man who has been awaiting execution since he was sentenced to death in 2010 applied to purchase an inflatable love doll at his own expense, but had his request rejected by prison authorities.

Hsiao Renchun (蕭仁俊 ) made his request in writing to prison authorities late last year, asking that prison administrators provide a place to store the love doll, and promising that he would clean the device after using it.

Hsiao, a baptized Christian, and model prisoner, also requested that he be allowed to grow his hair long so that he could donate his hair to make wigs for child cancer patients. However, both requests were denied by prison authorities.

The Taipei Detention center currently holds 21 death row inmates.

In considering the application, the prison authorities looked to prison practices in other countries, including the USA, the European Union, and Japan, and decided that inflatable love dolls were not a life necessity.

As for Hsiao’s request to grow his hair for cancer patients, authorities decided that it would breach prison hygiene regulations limiting death row inmates hair to a length of no more than three centimeters.

After his requests were rejected, Hsiao sought the help of the Judicial Reform Foundation who have assisted Hsiao file a first and second appeal regarding his requests to grow his hair for compassionate purposes.

Although the results of the appeal have not been released, the JRF expects that they are likely to be dismissed again, and have appointed a lawyer to help Hsiao file an administrative lawsuit.

Hsiao has been in detention for 23 years. After serving time for robbery with force and kidnapping for ransom, Hsiao was released on parole in 1995.

However, Hsiao continued his life of crime, committing a spate of robberies at medical clinics in Keelung, Taipei, and Chiayi County, until he was arrested for the robbery and brutal murder of a lawyer in Taipei City in 1996.

After a long series of litigation, trials, and appeals, Hsiao was eventually handed the death penalty in 2010.

Sources: SETN, Apple Daily, Next Magazine.

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