Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

In the past, abolition efforts have faced a backlash—but Gavin Newsom’s moratorium may be different.
The American death penalty is extraordinarily fragile, with death sentences and executions on the decline. Public support for the death penalty has diminished. The practice is increasingly marginalized around the world. California, with its disproportionately large share of American death-row inmates, announces an end to the death penalty. The year? 1972. That’s when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty inconsistent with the state’s constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishments—only to have the death penalty restored a year later through popular initiative and legislation.
On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject…

Taiwan's minister of justice: The crime issue cannot be solved by judicial sentencing or execution

Taiwan street
Chiu made the statement when he was asked by reporters whether more severe judicial punishment should be imposed in the face of rampant crimes in the society

In the wake of recent separate cases of abhorrent murders and dismemberment of the victims' bodies in Taiwan and calls from the society for more severe judicial punishment for the perpetrators to deter the prevalence of serious crimes, the country's Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san said on Wednesday that the crime problem cannot be solved by judicial sentencing and execution.

Chiu made the statement before attending a hearing in the legislature's Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee when he was asked by reporters whether more severe judicial punishment should be imposed in the face of rampant crimes in the society.

Taiwan's media has been dominated by horrendous headlines of murders and dismemberment of victim's bodies this week.

As recent as last night (May 29), a 22-year-old man in Taoyuan ran amok and hurt his family with a knife, killing an aunt and injuring his mother and another aunt.

On May 28, a popular Taiwanese online streamer was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend with a fruit knife in Taipei.

News broke a few days ago that a fitness trainer based in New Taipei City murdered his girlfriend, who he met on Tinder, and disposed of her dismembered body in seven trash bags, before ultimately hanging himself on May 28.

A 67-year-old man in Taoyuan confessed on May 27 that he had stabbed his wife to death and beheaded and disemboweled her after she asked for a divorce.

A 5-year-old girl in central Taiwan died about a week ago of severe injuries inflicted by her uncle-in-law.

In answering the reporters' question, the justice minister said that the thinking of using severe judicial punishment to deter prevalence of serious crimes has been in existence in Taiwan's society for a long time, but the history of the amendments of the country's criminal law and enforcement of the law have not supported the philosophy.

Taiwan underwent tremendous changes in the family, school, society and economy structures, bringing pressure to people's life and as a result causing emotional problems, Chiu said, adding that social problems should be tackled from social perspectives and justice can only give the punishment that fits the crime.

He said the crime issue is a reflection of the social background and perpetrators' pressure and mental problems, and that the crime issue cannot be solved by judicial sentencing and execution. He added that social problems should be handled by establishing a network of social security and that involves responsibilities of different governmental agencies, such as the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

When asked whether executions of death row inmates will be forthcoming, Chiu said that Taiwan has not abolished the death penalty and has not hesitated to carry out the death penalty either. However, he said abolishment of the death penalty is a goal for the future.

Source: taiwannews.com.tw, May 30, 2018

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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