Na­tion ex­e­cutes 6 death-row in­mates Ex­e­cu­tions come in re­sponse to mur­der of 8-year-old girl


The Min­istry of Jus­tice ( MOJ) car­ried out six ex­e­cu­tions Fri­day evening in re­sponse to public out­cry af­ter the mur­der of an 8-year-old school­girl in Taipei one week ago. The in­mates in­cluded Tsao Tien-shou ( ), Wang Hsiu-fang ( ), Cheng Chin-wen ( ), Huang Chuwang ( ), Wang Chun-chin ( ), and Wang Yu-long (

). A last-minute stay of ex­e­cu­tion mo­tion filed by Huang was de­nied.

Yes­ter­day’s ex­e­cu­tions were car­ried out in lo­ca­tions in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaoh­si­ung. The sit­u­a­tion was sim­i­lar to the min­istry’s re­ac­tion when a man slit the throat of a young boy in 2012. The MOJ re­sponded to the public up­roar within three weeks, car­ry­ing out six ex­e­cu­tions.

The num­ber of ex­e­cu­tions in Tai­wan has risen sharply af­ter Jus­tice Min­is­ter Luo Ying-shay ( ) as­sumed her post in 2013. In 2014, she ap­proved five ex­e­cu­tions. Fol­low­ing yes­ter­day’s ex­e­cu­tions, 42 in­mates re­main on death row in prisons through­out Tai­wan.

From 2006 to 2010, a 52-month mora­to­rium on cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment ex­isted as suc­ces­sive heads of the MOJ pub­licly sup­ported the end of the death penalty in Tai­wan. Wang Ching- feng, the first jus­tice min­is­ter ap­pointed by Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou in 2008 and an ad­vo­cate of end­ing the death penalty was forced to re­sign af­ter so­cial protests or­ches­trated by en­ter­tainer Pai Ping- ping, whose daugh­ter was mur­dered in 1997, stirred public re­sent­ment. Wang was forced to re­sign in 2010, with her suc­ces­sor con­tin­u­ing cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment one month into his term.

Ma Try­ing to Di­vert Public At­ten­tion: Anti-death Penalty


Af­ter the ex­e­cu­tions, Kuom­intang Leg­is­la­tor Tsai Chin- lung ( ) re­marked that “jus­tice has been served.” Civil or­ga­ni­za­tions against the death penalty re­buked the gov­ern­ment for its ac­tions, with one or­ga­ni­za­tion call­ing it “evil.” The Tai­wan Al­liance to End the Death Penalty (

) pub­lished a state­ment Wed­nes­day ac­cus­ing the Ma ad­min­is­tra­tion of us­ing the death penalty to di­vert at­ten­tion from other is­sues.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion ac­cused Ma of “us­ing the fresh blood of the ex­e­cuted as a sac­ri­fi­cial of­fer­ing for popular sup­port.” For in­stance, it cited April 19, 2013 as an ex­am­ple, as six ex­e­cu­tions were car­ried out on the same day. It was also the same day that for­mer Pres­i­dent Chen Shui- bian was trans­ferred to Taichung Pri­son’s Pei-de Hospi- tal and the Leg­isla­tive Yuan was de­lib­er­at­ing whether a ref­er­en­dum should be held re­gard­ing the con­struc­tion of the Fourth Nu­clear Power Plant.

Cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment is widely sup­ported by Tai­wan’s public, with opin­ion polls usu­ally show- ing around 80-per­cent sup­port for the re­ten­tion of the death penalty. In Asia, Tai­wan joins China, Ja­pan, South Korea and Viet­nam among oth­ers in re­tain­ing the death penalty.

Source: Min­istry of Jus­tice


Tsao Tien-shou, cen­ter, is lead by pri­son of­fi­cials to be ex­e­cuted in Taipei on Fri­day. Tsao was con­victed in 2000 for sex­u­ally as­sault­ing and mur­der­ing a ju­nior high school girl in Keelung. It is be­lieved by many that Tsao, along with five other death row in­mates, was ex­e­cuted as a means of re­spond­ing to public out­rage af­ter an el­e­men­tary school­girl was knifed to death last Fri­day in Taipei.

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