Politi­cians and of­fi­cials wade into the death penalty de­bate


Jus­tice Min­is­ter Luo Ying-shay ( ) stated on Tues­day that there have been no dis­cus­sions about over­turn­ing the na­tion’s cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment laws as public anger swells fol­low­ing the bru­tal school­yard killing of an 8-yearold girl last Fri­day by con­fessed 29-year-old sus­pect Kung Chun­gan ( ).

Luo made the com­ments to the press af­ter at­tend­ing a swearingin cer­e­mony for of­fi­cials at the Agency of Cor­rec­tions un­der the Min­istry of Jus­tice (

). She said that she be­lieves that most peo­ple in the coun­try felt great in­dig­na­tion af­ter the school­girl’s death, find­ing Kung’s ac­tions de­spi­ca­ble. While she said it was in­ap­pro­pri­ate for her to state her po­si­tion on the case it­self in her of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity, Luo be­lieved that “ev­ery­one is prob­a­bly feel­ing the same way.”

The jus­tice min­is­ter ex­pressed con­cern that the cur­rent pace in the ad­min­is­ter­ing of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment was not ren­der­ing it an ef­fec­tive ap­proach to de­ter­ring vi­o­lent crime.

So­cial Con­sen­sus Needed on

Death Penalty: Tsai

Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party ( DPP) Chair­woman and 2016 pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Tsai Ing­wen ( ), who is tour­ing the United States, said that a “so­cial con­sen­sus” was needed on the mat­ter of abol­ish­ing cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in Tai­wan.

Tsai also claimed that her po­si­tion on the death penalty and the re­quire­ment of a so­cial con­sen­sus were con­sis­tent with her past po- sition on the mat­ter. Asked if she sup­ported abol­ish­ing the death penalty, Tsai replied by say­ing that cer­tain con­di­tions within so­ci­ety had to be ripe, and other ob­ser­va­tions had to be taken into ac­cound as well.

Deputy Leg­isla­tive Speaker Hung Hsiu- chu ( ) asked Tsai to be more forth­com­ing about her po­si­tion, ask­ing: “un­der the cur­rent tragic sit­u­a­tion, do you still sup­port abol­ish­ing the death penalty?” Speak­ing at the Leg­isla­tive Yuan, Hung im­plored Tsai to con­sider the anger of Tai­wanese so­ci­ety, ask­ing whether she could feel the pain of the vic­tim’s fam­ily.

KMT Politi­cians Re­ject Ab­ro­ga­tion of Cur­rent Pol­icy

KMT Chair­man Eric Chu ( ) stated dur­ing a city coun­cil ses­sion in New Taipei that his po­si­tion on the death penalty is clear, namely that Tai­wan “does not have the re­quire­ments” to abol­ish it. Chu how­ever also stressed there was much room for im­prove­ment in cre­at­ing mea­sures to de­ter crimes.

Mean­while, KMT Law­maker Wu Yu-sheng ( ) ar­gued in a press con­fer­ence held at the Leg­isla­tive Yuan yes­ter­day that the ju­di­cial sys­tem was not do­ing enough to ex­pe­dite sen­tences. He pointed out that Tai­wan has 48 in­mates on death row, with some pris­on­ers hav­ing stayed their ex­e­cu­tion for 14 years. Wu urged that “loop­holes” within the ju­di­cial sys­tem be elim­i­nated in a draft law that would pro­hibit legal ap­peals from those who “show no ob­vi­ous rea­son to (ap­peal).”

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