Red Brick Daily

Public support in Taiwan for the death penalty is HIGH … like 80% or so high.

Successive administrations have said the goal is to “phase out” capital punishment … but that it will a protracted process that will require getting the people of Taiwan on board.

No government has put a timetable on abolishing the death penalty.

But Louise Arbour — this year’s ‘rule of law’ Tang Prize winner — suggested Saturday that Taiwan could consider what Canada and many other countries did … adopting an official “moratorium” on capital punishment long in advance of legally abolishing it.


(Louise Arbour: Tang Prize winner, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and current member of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty — speaking in Taipei September 24, 2016.  Via CNA)

CNA quoted Arbour as saying, “Over the course of five, 10, 20 years, it becomes evident that the crime rate doesn’t increase … and I think victims’ families may come to understand that there’s a larger public interest in particularly guarding against wrongful convictions.”

In the 1990s, Taiwan executed a soldier for the rape and murder of a little girl … DNA and other evidence later vindicated the individual … but the wrongly convicted man had been dead for many years by then.

“Even the most sophisticated legal systems have, at times, convicted an innocent person,” Arbour noted. “This is a price too high to pay for any society.”

A government, Arbour argued, should not base its policies on electoral considerations or public opinion … but ONLY on facts and evidence.

“And on that,” she said, “there is nothing to support the death penalty.” 



(Photo via UCA News / Convicted Taiwanese murderer Tsao Tien-so is escorted to his execution in New Taipei City on June 5, 2015)