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Tied to the Cause

Author: Jerome A. Cohen, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Asia Studies
March 17, 2010
South China Morning Post


Was last week's sudden resignation of Taiwan's minister of justice, Wang Ching-feng, a stunning setback for those who wish to abolish the death penalty? Or might it prove a catalyst leading the island further along the worldwide path towards universal abolition?

Much will depend on how Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou concludes this drama, which has done more to stir up Taiwanese interest in criminal justice than even the ongoing prosecution of former president Chen Shui-bian. Ma's initial reaction has not been encouraging to abolitionists.

The current brouhaha began to make headlines when Wang's deputy, Huang Shih-ming, told a legislative committee that was reviewing his suitability to become prosecutor-general that--although he would favour abolishing the death penalty by legislation--the punishment of the 44 prisoners awaiting execution after judicial condemnation should be delayed no longer.

This article appears in full on CFR.org by permission of its original publisher. It was originally available here.

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