From seventy-eight to zero: Why executions declined after Taiwan’s democratization

By Fort Fu-Te Liao / Punishment and Society, on 8 September 2020

This article examines, from a legal perspective, why executions in Taiwan declined from 78 in 1990 to zero in 2006. The inquiry focuses on three considerations: the number of laws that authorized employment of the death penalty; the code of criminal procedure; and the manner in which executions were carried out, including the manner in which amnesty was granted. The article argues that the ratification of international covenants and constitutional interpretations did not play a significant role in the decline, and that several factors that did play a role included the annulment or amendment of laws, changes in criminal procedure, establishment of and further amendments to guidelines for execution and two laws for reducing sentences. This article maintains that the absence of executions in 2006 is a unique situation that will not last because some inmates remain on death row, meaning that executions in Taiwan will continue unless the death penalty is abolished. However, the article concludes that the guarantee of the utmost human right, the right to life, can be sustained in Taiwan through the demands of democratic majority rule.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list Taiwan
  • Themes list Networks,