Tue, May 31, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Nation to maintain death penalty: minister

Staff Writer, with CNA

There is no urgency to resolve the question of whether to abolish the death penalty, Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said yesterday, in response to questions in the legislature about his stance on the issue.

Chiu said Taiwan maintains the death penalty — both in law and in practice — and his ministry has decided to continue carrying out the execution of death row inmates after grave consideration.

However, Taiwan is aware of the views of the international community, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights — two international human rights covenants that Taiwan ratified in 2009, he said.

Any move to abolish capital punishment would be a complex process, Chiu said, adding that it has long been a contentious issue.

“I hope consensus can be forged through dialogue,” Chiu said at a legislative meeting, when asked whether his ministry planned to push for the abolition of the death penalty.

Ten days before Chiu took office on May 20, former minister of justice Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) ordered the execution of one of the 43 death row inmates. Cheng Chieh (鄭捷), who killed four people on a Taipei mass rapid transit train in 2014, was executed by three gunshots to the back on May 11.

In other developments, Chiu expressed support for a proposed same-sex partnership act.

Chiu made the remarks when answering questions from Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女).

Chiu said that the ministry has commissioned Tsinghua University to conduct an impact study, adding that his ministry would propose its version of the draft act in a timely manner.

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