Thousands Rally in Taiwan to Support Death Penalty
Thousands attended a rally in Taipei yesterday to support for the continued use of the death penalty. The demonstration comes as the recent horrific beheading of a four-year-old girl in Taipei has ignited debate over capital punishment.
Taiwan reinstated capital punishment in 2010 after a five-year moratorium. Since then, 32 executions have been carried out, according to the Death Penalty Worldwide.
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Some lawmakers have been arguing that Taiwan needs to abolish the death penalty, pointing to European countries as an example. The discussion will come to a head this week as the Legislative Yuan review a proposal that would impose the death penalty on anyone convicted of murdering a child under the age of 12.
The White Rose Social Care Association organized yesterday's event to urge the government to heed public opinion.
According to the association, 5,000 people showed up at the start of the rally, including Chen Pei-chi and her two young sons.
"Taiwan is not safe, so death sentences are needed to deter crimes and they should be carried out," said Chen. "I hope this will make our society safer for all children."
Another supporter, Wu Chiu-mei, said "I am really sad and angry that these random murders of children keep happening. All child-killers should be sentenced to death for hurting defenseless children."
This is not the first time the public reacted angrily to the murder of a child. In December 2012, a 10-year-old boy was killed in Tainan and the man convicted of the crime sparked outrage when he made comments about receiving free room and board in prison. Six executions were carried out later that month.
In June 2015, there were six more executions following the murder of an 8-year-old girl in Taipei. Amnesty International condemned the actions, saying that "the decision to carry out the executions reeks of political calculations by a government attempting to gain points by quelling public anger."
According to a survey by Taiwan's National Chung Cheng University, 83.3 percent of Taiwanese citizens are against abolishing the death penalty.