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No perfect justice system: wrongful convictions in Taiwan

Evidence from around the world demonstrates that no matter how well developed, resourced and sophisticated a criminal justice system may be, human error filters into any system, making mistakes in the application of the death penalty, which are often irreversible, inevitable. The prevalence of wrongful convictions has exposed the fallibility of every criminal justice model and has led some states to abolish the death penalty altogether.

The risk that innocent people will be sentenced to death and executed persists wherever capital punishment exists, as there is no perfect justice system.

This video tells the stories of 5 people – Su Chien-ho; Chuang Lin-hsun; Cheng Hsing-tse; Hsu Tzu-chiang; and Liu Bing-lang – each of whom endured many years on death row in Taiwan for crimes they never committed. They were all eventually exonerated.

The video has been produced in association with the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP) and to find out more about wrongful convictions in Taiwan, read our report Unsafe convictions in capital cases in Taiwan (2019) by Carolyn Hoyle and based on the research of Chang Chuan-fen. The report presents an alarming collection of unsafe convictions in Taiwan, revealing an array of flaws in the criminal justice system’s responses to these cases. The research presents an in-depth analysis of data collected from each of the 62 murder cases that were finalised with death sentences between 2006-2015.

Video credit: The Death Penalty Project (2019) / Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty

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