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Hsinyi Lin Fights to Abolish the Death Penalty in Taiwan Part 2, Ep 153

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

This week’s episode of Talking Taiwan continues with the second half of my conversation about the fight to abolish the death penalty in Taiwan with Hsinyi Lin, the Executive Director of the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty. We continued our conversation by talking about what the public opinion in Taiwan on the death penalty is, the types of surveys that are typically done to gage public opinion, and the survey of public opinion about the death penalty that TAEDP and the Academia Sinica worked on in 2013-2014. Other topics discussed included a deeper discussion of the alliance’s work which includes educating the public and improving understanding about the death penalty, the two covenants adopted as domestic law in Taiwan, that reflect an intent to gradually abolish the death penalty in Taiwan, and the government of Taiwan’s general handling of the death penalty.

Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • How surveys on the public opinion about the death penalty in Taiwan are done
  • The 2013-2014 survey of public opinion about the death penalty that Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP) worked on with the Academia Sinica
  • What has changed with TAEDP since it was established in 2003
  • How TAEDP works to educate society about abolishing the death penalty
  • The origins of the death penalty in Taiwan
  • Whether or not death penalty effectively deters crime
  • Why the death penalty was not abolished after the by DPP President Chen Shui-bian’s announcement that it would be abolished in 3 years
  • The policy that was introduced in writing in 2005, by the government of Taiwan that the death penalty would gradually be abolished
  • The de facto 2006 moratorium that was put in place until 2009
  • The execution in 2010 was carried out under President Ma Ying-jeou
  • What is the ICCPR, and ICESCR
  • The implementation law on the Two Covenants (ICCPR & ICESCR) that was passed in Taiwan in 2019, making the Two Covenants domestic law in Taiwan
  • How article 6 of the ICCPR states that there should not be any delay to prevent the abolition of capital punishment
  • How executions are done in Taiwan and the problems with the execution process
  • How TAEDP is trying to change the execution process in Taiwan
  • How to deal with the opinions, rights and wishes of victims’ families
  • How TAEDP interacts with victims’ families
  • How TAEDP works to educate or create awareness about the death penalty by organizing film festivals
  • What is the public opinion and surveys in Taiwan on the death penalty
  • The results of a 2013-2014 survey on death penalty conducted by the Academia Sinica
  • How TAEDP works with schools to educate students about the death penalty
  • TAEDP’s book for children that teaches them about punishment and the judicial system
  • The most recent executions that happened in 2018 and 2020
  • Why there is no moratorium currently in place
  • Whether or not citizens in Taiwan take the death penalty issue into consideration when voting
  • TAEDP’s work with international organizations and how this impact’s Taiwan
  • What TAEDP has learned from working with international organizations
  • How to handle cases like Lee Ming-Che, who was incarcerated in China
  • Hsinyi’s involvement with the Free Tibet movement and how she had a chance to ask the Dali Lama for his thoughts on the death penalty
  • President Tsai Ing-wen’s stance on and handling of the death penalty issue
  • The case of Chiou Ho-shun (邱和順) and the TAEDP’s request of President Tsai to grant him amnesty
  • How supportive has the government been of TAEDP’s work
  • What’s been accomplished in the nearly 20 years of TAEDP’s existence
  • TAEDP’s members and supporters
  • How people can learn more and work with TAEDP

 

Related Links:

 

The Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP) website: https://www.taedp.org.tw/

 

TAEDP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taedpforum/

 

TAEDP on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taedp_taiwan/

 

TAEDP’s film festival: https://www.taedp.org.tw/dialogs/film

 

About TAEDP’s picture book for kids:  https://www.taedp.org.tw/plan/10118

 

Academia Sinica: https://www.sinica.edu.tw/en

 

Judicial Reform Foundation: https://english.jrf.org.tw/

 

The Taiwan Association for Human Rights: https://www.tahr.org.tw/

 

Hsichih Trio (蘇案)|Su Chieh-ho (蘇建和), Liu Bing-lang (劉秉郎), Chuang Lin-hsun (莊林勳) 1991 (year case started), 2012 (year exonerated):

https://www.taedp.org.tw/topic/10094

 

‘Hsichih Trio’ are finally freed (an article from the Taipei Times): https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2012/09/01/2003541675

 

Hsu Tzu-chiang (徐自強) 1995 (year case started), 2016 (year exonerated):

https://www.taedp.org.tw/topic/10095

 

Cheng Hsing-tse (鄭性澤) 2002 (year case started), 2017 (year exonerated):

https://www.taedp.org.tw/topic/10119

 

Hsieh Chih-hung (謝志宏) 2000 (year case started), 2020(year exonerated):

https://www.taedp.org.tw/topic/10121

 

Lu Cheng (盧正) the death row inmate that was executed in 2000:

https://www.taedp.org.tw/topic/10497

 

2000: Lu Cheng, possible wrongful Taiwanese execution (from ExecutedToday.com): https://www.executedtoday.com/2010/09/07/2000-lu-cheng-possible-wrongful-taiwanese-execution/

 

Taiwan Innocent Project: https://twinnocenceproject.org/en/home-en/

 

Taipei Bar Association: https://www.tba.org.tw/

 

Legal Aid Foundation in Taiwan: https://www.laf.org.tw/en/

 

Roger Hood’s research report for the UN on whether the death penalty effectively deters crime: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/599200?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

 

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights

 

The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx

 

Execution by firing squad: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Execution_by_firing_squad

 

World Coalition Against the Death Penalty: https://worldcoalition.org/

 

Amnesty International Taiwan: https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/asia-and-the-pacific/east-asia/taiwan/

 

Death Penalty Project: https://www.deathpenaltyproject.org/

 

Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights: http://www.mvfhr.org/

 

Covenants Watch: https://en.covenantswatch.org.tw/

 

March 14, 2008 uprising in Tibet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Tibetan_unrest

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-10723140

 

A video clip from 2009, when Hsinyi asked the Dalai Lama for his views on the death penalty: https://www.peopo.org/news/38632

About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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