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Control Yuan chief applauds execution of death row inmates

2012/12/22 18:25:22

Taipei, Dec. 22 (CNA) Taiwanese authorities and especially Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu deserve applause for authorizing Friday's execution of six death row inmates, Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien said Saturday.

In an interview with local media, the outspoken Wang praised the administration for carrying out its legal duty in defiance of threats from international human rights groups to downgrade Taiwan's human rights rating if it does not get rid of the death penalty.

Calling the death penalty a vital part of the country's system of administering justice, Wang said any postponement in the execution of death row inmates is a delay of justice and, in effect, a denial of justice.

By sticking to its laws, Taiwan has shown to the world that it is a sovereign independent country with its own standard of justice, Wang said.

"We may feel sorry for these executed criminals, but compared to the cruel way they killed their victims, it is only a kinder and less painful way to send them to their doom," Wang said, noting that those executed were anesthetized before being shot in the head.

Wang also took issue with abolishing capital punishment because it is an international trend, saying that Taiwan should have the wisdom to follow only correct trends and resist trends that do not serve the interests of the country.

Noting that there are still dozens of death row inmates waiting to be executed on the island, Wang said the Ministry of Justice should not drag its feet in carrying out its job. "There is no reason to keep death row inmates wait in anxiety."

Wang, who was Taiwan's finance minister in the 1990s and now runs the branch of government responsible for going after improper or illicit behavior by public officials and agencies, is a devout Christian who often comments on moral issues.

Wang's remarks were considered much-needed support for President Ma Ying-jeou, whose administration has came under pressure from international and domestic human rights groups for the executions.

When asked about Ma's view that abolishing capital punishment is the right thing to do in the long term, Wang said he spoke for himself, and he was confident that he was right regardless of whatever the president has said.

(By Sophia Yeh and Maubo Chang)