Six inmates were executed by shooting in three separate prisons in northern, central, and southern Taiwan after the Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-Fu 法務部長曾勇夫 signed the execution orders on Friday, December 21st. All six men were convicted of murder. The last execution carried out in Taiwan occurred in March 2011, where five men were put to death. The execution this year followed a public outrage and debate after a 29-year-old jobless man brutally murdered a boy at a video arcade for no reason other than getting free meals in prison. He reportedly said, “If you were to kill one or two persons, you will not be put to death.” An opinion poll after the incident showed nearly 80% of Taiwan’s population oppose abolishing capital punishment.
The Government of Taiwan faced criticism from the European Union as well as human rights group Amnesty International, while earning support from the public. Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice started the process of abolishing capital punishment in 2010 and has set it as the ultimate goal to be achieved when a social consensus is reached. The ministry made no promises to withhold capital punishment during this process.
We would like to apologize for our rather long absence in bringing you all things about Taiwan. School has been absolutely crazy, but winter break is here, and hopefully we will be blogging more often.