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The death Penalty doesn’t work, so why do politicians keep insisting it does?

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COUNTLESS studies have shown that capital punishment doesn’t lower the crime rate, and louder opposition being mounted against the moral merits of the death penalty. But that hasn’t stopped many politicians doggedly insisting the most severe form of corporal punishment be continued.

In Taiwan, as in other countries that have capital punishment, it has become a political tool. In the lead up to local elections last year, rights groups accused the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of timing the only execution of the year to boost their popularity. The execution date? – President Tsai Ing-wen’s birthday.

The country only reintroduced the measure in 2010 after a brief hiatus. The DPP has supported the abolition of the death penalty. Going back as far as 1999, the party’s action plan said the party would “respect life, prevent miscarriages of justice and search for ways to end the use of capital punishment.”

SEE ALSO: How the death penalty is applied in Southeast Asian countries

However, the party’s previous administration oversaw 32 executions between 2000 and 2006 when a moratorium was finally introduced. The current president has failed to take a stron- g position on abolition, instead maintaining the measure is legal and remains in place.

But why the failure to act when all of the evidence argues against the merits of capital punishment?

There is still no evidence the death penalty deters crime, and almost 90 percent of sociologists confidently believe it doesn’t. It costs the state huge amounts of money. And there has been no connection found between executions and closure for the victims’ families.

The easy answer as to why politicians keep the measure is because it’s popular.

Prisoner Tsao Tien-so (C) is escorted by policemen at Tucheng Detention Centre before his execution in New Taipei City on June 5, 2015. Taiwan executed six death-row inmates on June 5 after calls for heavier punishments for serious crime were prompted by the death of a girl who had her throat cut at school. Source: AFP/ STR

Polls show around 80 percent of Taiwanese support the death........

© Asian Correspondent