TAIWAN TO DROP DEATH PENALTY FOR SOME CRIMES AMID GLOBAL CRITICISM
March 10, 2011: Taiwan's cabinet approved revisions of four laws to drop the death penalty for some crimes, including kidnapping and gunrunning. The move was seen as a government attempt to ease criticism from international human rights groups and the European Union after the island executed five death-row convicts on March 4.
Under the revisions, which still would need final approval from Parliament, kidnappers would no longer face the death penalty unless their crimes result in the deaths of their victims, the cabinet said in a statement. Currently, kidnappers can face death sentences although lighter sentences range from more than seven years to life in prison.
The cabinet also revised laws governing gunrunning, obstruction of military services and counterfeiting of banknotes to remove the death penalty as their maximum sentences, it said.
Cabinet officials said that although these laws, instituted during martial law that ended in the 1980s, provide for the death penalty, Taiwan's judiciary has rarely sentenced people convicted of these crimes to death unless the crimes have caused the death of others. (Sources: www.monstersandcritics.com, 10/03/2011)