The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said it is seeking to amend the law so that a death sentence can only be handed down when all three judges in a case approve the sentence.
Current law stipulates that a death sentence can be handed down with a majority verdict, which means two of the three judges in a court can decide the ruling. Passage of the amendment would make death sentences more difficult to secure and thereby reduce the number of state executions.
A ministry official told the Taipei Times yesterday that the MOJ and the Judicial Yuan would cooperate to amend the law.
The ministry has also asked the Judicial Yuan to amend the law so that the Supreme Court would have to meet and debate any review of a death sentence handed by the Taiwan High Court, the official said.
He said that at the moment the Supreme Court usually only reviews the legal documents but does not debate the matter.
The official said that the ministry would also ask prosecutors to no longer propose a death sentence to the court when indicting suspects accused of serious crimes.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government promised in 2000 to abolish the death penalty, but the ministry has since suggested that Taiwan might not be able to do this in the near future because a majority of Taiwanese believe that capital punishment is the most effective means of deterring serious crime.
Given this, the ministry has tried to carry out as few executions as possible. The ministry either files extraordinary appeals to the Supreme Court to keep prisoners sentenced to death alive, or delays their executions.
Ministry figures show that the number of executions has been decreasing for years. Thirty-two prisoners were executed in 1998, a number that shrank to 10 in 2001 and to three each in 2004, 2005 and in 2006. No executions were carried out last year.
DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou (
Dignitaries from 47 countries yesterday congratulated President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the commencement of her second term and highlighted Taiwan’s achievements in democracy and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent his congratulations a day earlier. As of noon yesterday, 263 high-ranking officials from 47 countries and global organizations had congratulated Tsai via statements, letters, social media posts or recorded footage, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, while releasing a collection of footage sent by selected dignitaries. The governments of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies sent their congratulations, as did the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy,
REASSURING NUMBERS: Taiwan’s test capacity ranks sixth or seventh among 91 nations, and is not low compared with other nations, Chen Shih-chung said The quarantine period for foreigners visiting Taiwan for business would vary based on the COVID-19 situation of the nation or territory that they are coming from, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported the 13th consecutive day of no new cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told reporters at the center’s daily briefing that modified rules covering foreign business visitors had been completed and were ready for him to sign. The complete details of the new rules would be released later this week, he said. Foreigners on long business trips would have
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,