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中華民國法務部有關廢除死刑之政策(中英文版)

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中華民國法務部有關廢除死刑之政策

 

壹、前言

死刑起源於應報主義,係以國家公權力剝奪罪犯生命權,使其永久與社會隔離,由於手段殘酷,不符刑罰亦具教化之主張,故廢除死刑已漸是世界潮流,許多民主先進國家已廢除死刑或有條件的廢除死刑,惟是否全面廢除死刑,應視社會發展、法治觀念是否成熟及民眾之共識與支持。根據歷年來所做之相關民意調查,民眾對我國廢止死刑之意見,始終約有百分之八十的受訪者,表示反對,但如有相關配套措施,例如提高有期徒刑上限、無期徒刑假釋門檻等,反對意見則約下降至百分之四十,可見如有配套措施,並透過教育,導正民眾應報思想,應可逐步凝聚廢除死刑之社會共識。法務部將會透過廣泛討論與研究,凝聚多數民眾支持廢除死刑之共識後,才會提出廢除死刑的法律修正案,以兼顧人權之保障及治安之維護。

 

貳、我國政府對廢除死刑之措施與進度

一、我國於民國三十四年已簽署聯合國之「經濟社會與文化權利國際公約」及「公民權利及政治權利國際公約」,政府為落實上開人權公約人權保障之理念,業將此二公約送請立法院審議,如經通過,由總統公布,國際人權法典即國內法化,此外,更將存放於聯合國,向世界宣示我國保障人權之決心。而上開二公約,均揭示尊重生命權及嚴格限制死刑的原則,我國既簽署上開公約,即應循序漸進展現廢除死刑之誠意,以袪除國際社會的質疑,並符合前開公約之理想。

二、法務部為達成漸進廢除死刑之目標,擬採取之階段措施,係將法定刑為唯一死刑之罪,研修為相對死刑,再研議提高有期徒刑上限及無期徒刑假釋之門檻,期使無期徒刑未來能替代死刑,漸進達成廢除死刑之目的。

三、修法進度:

(一)爭議甚大且具有多數唯一死刑之「懲治盜匪條例」,業經法務部提案修正廢止,並配合修正刑法部分條文,該廢止案及修正案經立法院修正通過後,於二00二年一月三十日公布,其中擄人勒贖殺害被害人罪之法定刑原為唯一死刑,已配合修正為死刑或無期徒刑。

(二)其餘在刑法中法定刑為唯一死刑之罪,法務部亦將研修為相對死刑。目前法務部已針對現行刑法中尚存二條唯一死刑之海盜罪,修正其適當刑度為相對死刑,擬於二00二年十二月底前將修正草案送行政院審查。

(三)另於刑法總則草案中研議下列替代死刑之配合修正條文:

1、 提高單一刑罰及加重刑罰之最高上限為二十年及三十年。

2、酌採美國「三振法案」之精神,對曾犯最輕本刑五年以上有期徒刑之累犯特別加重其刑,並明定此類累犯「加重本刑二分之一」,三犯者,「加重本刑一倍」。

3、配合有期徒刑上限之提高及「特別累犯」之修正,而提高假釋之門檻為無期徒刑須服刑逾三十年,累犯者須服刑逾四十年,始得許假釋,並將現行假釋後滿十五年未經撤銷假釋者,其未執行之刑以執行論,提高為二十年。

4、參之「公民與政治權利國際公約」、「兒童權利公約」所揭示對未滿十八歲人之犯罪行為,不得判處死刑或無釋放可能之無期徒刑之精神,已為國際間之共識,且符合罪刑均衡原則,而刪除未滿十八歲人犯殺害直系血親尊親屬罪可判處死刑之規定。

該草案行政院已於二00二年十月完成審查,並與司法院會銜送立法院審議中。

 

參、執行死刑人數之統計

有關近五年來,我國執行死刑之人數,因保障人權之理念及相關唯一死刑法規之修正,而有明顯降低之情形,其人數分別為:一九九八年有三十二人、一九九九年有二十四人、二000年有十七人、二00一年十人、二00二年迄十月底止則僅有六人,在法務部逐步推展前述政策下,期能漸進實現廢除死刑之理想。

 

肆、結語

我國政府宣示「人權立國」,對於死刑之立法政策,已深入檢討,惟我國人民於犯罪行為採應報主義之觀念仍然盛行,人權法治教育尚待努力推動,死刑制度或許暫時無法全面廢除,因此我國政府現階段係以相對死刑取代絕對死刑,以減少有關死刑之立法作為政策目標,並輔以各替代死刑之配套措施,期以階段化方式達成全面廢止死刑之理想。


The policy of the Ministry of Justice, Taiwan with regard to abolition of the death penalty

A. Foreword

The death penalty, with its basis in the theory of retribution, uses state power to deprive convicted criminals of their right to live and separate them from society forever. Since capital punishment is cruel and goes against the notion that punishment should encompass education, abolition of the death penalty has gradually become a global trend. Many democratic and industrialized countries have completely or conditionally abolished the death penalty.

Whether to completely do away with the death penalty depends on the development of society, the maturity of concepts of law and order and popular consensus and support. In opinion polls in recent years, around 80% of respondents have consistently opposed abolition of the death penalty. Opposition falls to 40% however if complementary measures such as increases in upper sentencing limits and the threshold for parole for life imprisonment are included.

Evidently, with consideration of complementary measures and education, public support for retribution may be reoriented and a general consensus formed on gradual abolition of the death penalty.

The Ministry of Justice will employ extensive discussion and research to form a popular consensus for abolition, and only then propose the necessary amendments to existing laws to extend human rights protection while maintaining public security.

B. Measures taken and progress made by Taiwan’s government toward abolition of the death penalty

1. The Taiwan government signed the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as early as 1945. The government has sent these two covenants to the Legislative Yuan for review as a means to implement the human rights protection ideals contained within. If passed, they will be promulgated by the president and international human rights codes will be adopted as domestic laws. In addition, they will be deposited with the United Nations as a declaration of the Taiwan’s determination to protect human rights. These covenants proclaim the value of the right to life and strict limits on the death penalty. Insofar as we are signatories to the covenants, we are obliged to show our sincerity regarding gradual abolition of the death penalty so as to remove any doubts from the international community and to meet with the ideals of the covenants.

2. To achieve the goal of gradually abolishing the death penalty, the Ministry of Justice is planning to take step-by-step measures. The first step taken is to replace the mandatory death penalty, where it applies, with discretionary death penalty. The next step will be deliberation on raising upper sentencing terms limits and the parole threshold for life imprisonment, in hope that in future life imprisonment may replace the death penalty.

3. Progress of legal amendments:

a. The Ministry of Justice proposed abolition of the controversial Act for the Control and Punishment of Banditry that mandates the death sentence for several crimes, and at the same time drafted relevant amendments to the criminal code. After review by and passage through the Legislative Yuan, the act was formally abolished and the amendments promulgated on January 30, 2002. Capital or life imprisonment thereby replaced the mandatory death penalty for kidnap leading to murder.

b. The Ministry of Justice will consider abolishing mandatory capital sentencing for the remaining crimes in Criminal Codes to which it applies and replacing it with discretionary capital sentencing. The Ministry is currently drafting amendments to the Criminal Code on marine piracy which mandates death penalty in two instances. The draft shall be forwarded to the Executive Yuan for review by the end of December of 2002.

c. In addition, the following revisions to the General Provisions of the Criminal Code are being considered to complement replacement of the death penalty:

(1) Raising the upper sentencing term limit for a single sentence to 20 years and the to 30 years in aggravated cases.

(2) Adoption of the essence of the U.S. “Three strikes and you’re out” policy, imposing aggravated penalties on repeat offenders of crime sentenced five years and up. It stipulates that second-time offenders would have sentences increased by half and sentences of third-time offenders would be doubled.

(3) In conjunction with amendments raising maximum sentence term and instituting special sentencing for repeat offenders, increase of the parole threshold for life imprisonment to minimum 30 years and minimum 40 years for repeat offenders and increase of the period of parole for life prisoners from 15 years to 20 years.

(4) There is an international consensus, in conformity with pronouncements of the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Covenant on Children’s Rights on criminal behavior by those aged under 18, on the principle of not handing down death sentences or non-parolable life imprisonment to minors. This consensus meets the principle of balancing the crime and its punishment. As a result, abolition of the death penalty for those under the age of 18 convicted of the murder of direct lineal relatives is in order.

This draft proposal completed examination by the Executive Yuan and was forwarded to the Legislative Yuan for review in October of 2002.

C. Statistics on execution

In the past five years, the number of prisoners executed in Taiwan has shown a clear decline, a result of greater consideration of human rights protection as well as amendments to mandatory death penalty laws. Figures show 32 executions in 1998, 24 in 1999, 17 in 2000, 10 in 2001 and only six to the end of October 2002.

It is expected that by gradually implementing the policy described above, we can gradually realize the idea of abolishing the death penalty.

D. Conclusion

The Taiwan government has stated that human rights are the foundation of the nation and has conducted in-depth review of legislative policy on the death penalty. Nonetheless, concepts of retribution are still prevalent amongst the public. Education on human rights and legal governance must be advanced. Consequently, it may not currently be possible to do away entirely with the death penalty. The government is implementing interim measures to replace mandatory capital sentencing with discretionary capital sentencing so as to achieve the policy goal to minimize the scope of capital punishment. At the same time, the government is implementing alternative complementary measures so that the death penalty may be phased out in stages.

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