Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Saturday night listed six reasons to keep the death penalty, while KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) responded negatively to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) call for the abolition of capital punishment to become a universal value.
The killing of an eight-year-old girl has enraged the nation and some politicians have weighed in on the debate over the abolition of death penalty.
Hung said she supports capital punishment because “calls to abolish the death penalty have blind spots.”
“First, there is no way the state can refrain entirely from killing people. Which country could keep every life sacrosanct and not kill a single person?” Hung asked.
For example, a police officer who is compelled to shoot a person who is threatening lives cannot consider how that person has been psychologically affected by childhood issues or discrimination,” Hung said.
Hung asked whether those who want the death penalty abolished also oppose weapons manufacturing.
“Nations that have abolished the death penalty, including Germany, France, Britain and Sweden, are all among the top 10 advanced weapons exporters,” Hung said.
“Not to mention that some of them have nuclear weapons,” she added.
“Even some people convicted of capital crimes ask for their own execution, so is abolition really necessary?” she asked.
Hung said families affected by murderers need to see fairness and justice.
“That concept offsets opposition to the death penalty by people who say nobody deserves to die,” Hung said.
Meanwhile, Alex Tsai responded to comments by Tsai Ing-wen, who once said the abolition of capital punishment should become a universal value.
“To hell with her idea of universal values,” Alex Tsai said on Facebook.
He said he once proposed legislation that would impose a mandatory death sentence on anyone who is convicted of murder committed in a random manner, “but few lawmakers dared sign the proposal.”
“There are two reasons for that,” Alex Tsai said.
“First, the DPP’s party charter calls for the death penalty to be abolished,” he said.
“DPP legislators worship white people’s values. Europeans push for the death penalty to be abolished and the DPP deems it a universal value,” he said. “I went to the best universities in the world [Harvard and Columbia], but I never accepted those ideas.”
“The DPP is just lazy, worshiping some white people’s evil gods,” he added.
“Second, KMT lawmakers were afraid that the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty would have asked a bunch of students to harass anyone who signed the proposal,” Alex Tsai said.
DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康), who opposes the death penalty, said the KMT and Alex Tsai have “seized on an opportunity to put salt in a wound, taking advantage of a girl’s death to fan the flames of a political feud.”
“When [President] Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) touted his ratification of two UN human rights conventions, it was tantamount to a declaration that Taiwan would progress toward the abolishment of death penalty,” Tuan said.
“The DPP leadership’s position is that the government should continue to incorporate the conventions into domestic regulations, which was a promise made by the KMT administration in 2009,” Tuan added.
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