Updated Sunday, July 12, 2009 12:46 am TWN, By P. Nieman and D. Bruyas, The China Post
Live without death penalty
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Surveys in Taiwan regularly show that a sizable majority of adults are in favor of the death penalty for convicted murderers. Depending upon the exact question asked, up to 80% of adults support the death penalty, according to the latest polls conducted by the Ministry of Justice in May 2008.
A serious deficiency of almost all public opinion polls, however, is that they generally ask too simple a question, that is: whether the subject is in favor of the death penalty or not. They rarely offer alternatives to execution in their polling questionnaires.
In fact, experts argue that public support for capital punishment does decline greatly when alternatives to the death penalty are considered.
Some of these alternatives are discussed in a new book, titled "New Perspectives on Abolishing the Death Penalty," sponsored by the German Institute in Taipei (德國在台協會) and Angle Publishing Co. (元照出版社), featuring the lectures of Hans-Juergen Kerner, Uwe Meyer-Odewald, Armin Fruehauf and Gerd Delattre.