TAIWAN'S CAPITAL PUNISHMENT POLICY REMAINS UNCHANGED: PREMIER
March 19, 2013: Taiwan's Premier Jiang Yi-huah said that the government is cautiously assessing the scrapping of capital punishment, but added that the current policy of executing death row inmates remains unchanged.
The premier said the Criminal Code still stipulates capital punishment, although some local people have advocated its scrapping and some European countries have often called for its abrogation.
He noted that many local people believe in the use of capital punishment to deter crime.
"Currently, a majority of Taiwan people hold a positive view on maintaining capital punishment to deter heinous crimes. The Ministry of Justice is constantly studying the issue, but our current policy has not changed," the premier said.
He stressed that the government is adopting a cautious attitude and continues to review some cases in order to avoid misjudgments or capital convictions with insufficient evidence.
But if all due procedures have been completed and the convictions are upheld, then the Ministry of Justice will execute death row inmates in due time, the premier said.
He was responding to questions from ruling Kuomintang Legislator Tsai Chin-lung, who asked if the government will execute any death row inmates in the run-up to Tombsweeping Day, a national holiday that falls this year on April 4.
Tsai was referring to a tradition that the living can tell the dead at their tombs that justice has been done if their killers have been executed. Tombsweeping Day is an important festival in Chinese communities in which people gather at family tombs to pay respects to their ancestors.
Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu said the ministry will carry out such sentences if there are no further reasons for special appeal or retrial, but he didn't give a timetable.
With the country's most recent execution, which took place last December, the number of death row inmates currently stands at 55, according to the ministry. (Sources: CAN, 19/03/2013)