A bill submitted by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井) on Friday would commute sentences to reduce the overcrowding in the nation’s prisons.
The bill, which is patterned after a previous commutation of sentences in 2007, was sent to the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee for review, and Liao hopes it will clear the Legislature this session. The bill would apply to offenses committed prior to May 20 next year. Death sentences would be commuted to life sentences, life imprisonment would be reduced to 20 years and other sentences would be cut in half.
The proposal would not apply, however, to convictions for corruption, vote-buying, manslaughter or sexual offenses that come with the death penalty, life sentences or prison terms of more than 18 months.
That would mean that former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is serving a 20-year prison term for corruption, and former lawmaker Yen Chin-piao (顏清標), who is in jail for misuse of public funds, would not serve shorter sentences were the proposal to clear the legislature.
Offering lukewarm support for the bill, KMT Legislator Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said he “respected” Liao’s proposal and expected the committee would carefully review it.
Lin said he believed the public would accept a commutation of sentences for minor offenses or first-time offenders, but reducing sentences for major offenses would be a tougher sell. He said the feelings of victims of crime and their families needed to be considered along with the human rights of prison inmates.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said his party has yet to discuss the issue. However Wu, who once served as a judge, said legislators should consider whether overcrowded prisons should be used repeatedly as a justification for commuting sentences.
According to the National Audit Office, 38 out of 49 penitentiaries in Taiwan are overcrowded, leaving inmates with an average space of 0.4 ping (1.32m2), lower than the 0.7 ping stipulated by the Ministry of Justice.
Academic Liu Kung-chung (劉孔中) said a survey by the Justice Ministry found that after the commutation in 2007, the reoffending rate was as high as 57 percent, with 90 percent of the repeat offenses involving drugs, burglary and public hazards.
‧ Would apply to offenses committed prior to May 20 next year.
‧ Death sentences would be commuted to life sentences.
‧ Life imprisonment would be commuted to 20 years.
‧ Other sentences would be cut by half.
‧ Would not apply to sentences for graft, vote-buying, manslaughter or serious sexual offenses.
‘UNAFRAID’: Most Taiwanese do not seem to be aware of the danger of war and might be unprepared, a KMT legislator said of the poll by an affiliated foundation Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed. The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed. Another 18.2 percent gave
The Kaohsiung Prosecutors’ Office on Monday indicted a Chinese sea captain over his alleged involvement in the killing of four pirates at sea in 2012, while serving as the captain of a Taiwanese fishing vessel. The suspect, identified by the media as 43-year-old Wang Fengyu (汪峰裕), was charged with homicide and breaches of the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例), the indictment read. Wang asked two Pakistani mercenaries that he hired as acting captain of the Kaohsiung-registered Ping Shin No. 101 to fire on and kill four suspected Somalian pirates in the Indian Ocean off the Somalian coast on Sept. 29,
UPGRADE: The system is more efficient than others, which typically involve longer procedures that can produce pseudo-positive or pseudo-negative results The National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center yesterday unveiled an infrared wax physisorption kinetics imaging system, which it said efficiently detects 10 types of cancer. Through scanning tissue section samples, the imaging system can detect colon, breast, stomach, oral, ovarian, cervical, prostate and skin cancer, as well as neuroendocrine tumors and glioblastoma, center associate research fellow Lee Yao-chang (李耀昌) told a news conference in Taipei. The system uses paraffin and beeswax with organic solutions as developers for its infrared imaging device, which can mark abnormal polysaccharides on the surface of cancer cells in six to 15 minutes, while the wax is absorbed by
China is trying to convince Taiwanese that an authoritarian system is preferable to democracy, the Information Operations Research Group (IORG) said at a conference yesterday. China has been employing Taiwanese sympathetic to its “united front” tactics to help spread disinformation about democracy and Taiwanese society through social media, television programs, YouTube and by other means, the group said at the conference to promote public awareness of China’s cognitive warfare campaign. In the group’s latest report, it highlighted eight disinformation discussions that its researchers listed under three main topics: flu viruses in the US are deadlier than COVID-19; US troop movements caused the