Taiwan not ready to abolish death penalty: president
Taiwan’s government is currently unable to abolish capital punishment because society still needs time to reach a consensus on the issue, presidential spokesman Charles Chen (
) cited President Ma Ying- jeou as saying Sunday.
Chen's remark came after some interpreted a comment by Ma a day earlier as a sign that his administration might be considering abolishing the death penalty.
When asked by a reporter on his view of rising calls against the scrapping of the death penalty following the recent murder of an eight- year- old girl in a school bathroom, Ma said two opposing views have been in the debate for quite some time — some people believe that capital punishment is unable to provide a deterrent, while others believe that abolishing the punishment will actually encourage crime.
"I think we better observe this for some more time," Ma said.
On Sunday, Chen cited Ma as saying that the government is unable to scrap capital punishment at the moment, but will continue to work toward reducing its use.
When meeting recently with a British all- party parliamentary group in favor of the abolition of the death penalty, Ma noted that the majority of the people in Taiwan are against abolishing capital punishment, Chen said.
The president also cited a Ministry of Justice poll in 2012 showing that 76.7 percent of the respondents are against scrapping the death penalty, while over 85 percent believe that abolishing the death penalty would affect public security, Chen said.
DPP Not Ready to Abolish
The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party ( DPP) said Saturday that further dialogue and communication with those who advocate abolishing capital punishment is necessary.
DPP spokesman Wang Minsheng ( ) said every child is the darling of their parents and that the party was saddened by the tragedy. He added that every child should be able to study in an environment free from fear.
Wang said that there are complex and serious social problems behind the killing and not just the issue of campus security.
He noted that on the issue of abolishing the death penalty, there are still deficiencies in the complementary measures of the current law, and also different views in society regarding the issue.
"We need to have further dialogue and communication," he said.
suspect, Kung Chung- an ( ) , 29, allegedly killed the child because he was under great pressure and suffering from hallucinations.
His older brother said Kung moved out of the family home five years ago, and added that he did now know how a previously normal person could turn into a killer.
This photo taken yesterday shows the entrance of Wenhua Elementary School, where a second-grade schoolgirl was murdered last week. While the brutal attack has revived debate on the death penalty, both the president and the Democratic Progressive Party said yesterday that Taiwan is not ready to take action on the policy.