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Judicial CP - May 2007

Corpun file 19155


China Post, Taipei, 2 May 2007

MOJ opposes caning for sex offenders

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) expressed its opposition yesterday to a proposal to bring caning and chemical castration into the nation's judicial system to punish sex offenders, saying that such measures violate human rights -- treasured by Taiwanese people as part of their core values.

MOJ officials said there is no evidence to support the assertion that caning or chemical castration can prevent sex offenders from committing the same crime after being punished.

They said that at present, the MOJ prefers to use electronic monitoring to control convicted rapists and will need some time to implement that measure before an assessment can be made on its effectiveness.

The officials added that the MOJ reached the conclusion after calling a meeting in late March to solicit views from scholars and experts on whether to allow the use of caning and chemical castration to punish serious sex offenders, in addition to prison terms.

Several ruling Democratic Progressive Party legislators floated the proposal of introducing an amendment to the 1997 Sexual Assault Prevention Act to allow the caning of convicted rapists after police arrested two men who abducted a medical school co-ed from a motorbike parking lot near a mass rapid transit station in Taipei March 11, drove her to a riverbank park and raped her.

One of the criminals, Lin Shih-huan, 38, also robbed and raped a 64-year-old female taxi driver while he was hiding from police.

Lin and his accomplice, Hung Chieh-hung, 39, were indicted in late April. Prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment for Lin and a 16-year sentence for Hung.

Copyright 2007 The China Post. All rights reserved.

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