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Taiwan's Death Penalty in the Local-Global Dynamics



Parallel abstracts

People generally believe that the death penalty in Taiwan has been supported by traditional retributive culture, and the public support is the main reason why this penal institution cannot be abolished. This paper intends to rebut this conventional wisdom. It shows that in the past sixty to seventy years, this penal institution been much more affected by politics. In addition to public opinions, the death penalty in Taiwan has been shaped by the interplay of regime types, international politics, pattern of transitional politics and incumbent's inclinations. While it is true that politics has played a dominant role, actions of human rights activists still managed to redefine what politics is, and thus helped the local abolitionist movement to achieve an impressive progress within a short period of time. But the intensive cooperation between global and local anti-death penalty activists since the beginning has also made the anti-death penalty movement western and alien to the Taiwanese society, which unfortunately resulted in vehement backlashes in recent years. This paper urges both supporters and opponents of the death penalty to re-evaluate this peculiar penal institution from its historical realities.


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王文玲(2008)。〈兩面投機 膽怯的法務部〉。聯合報2008 年1 月2日第A08 版。
王文玲(2010)。〈你的驕傲,他的悲傷?〉。聯合報2010 年3 月12 日第A27 版。
王冠雄(2010)。〈該死的不死 該活的活該?〉。聯合報2010 年3月11 日第A17 版。