Different Questions Result in Various Outcomes on Death Penalty|台人對廢死態度 學者:提問方式影響結果


The Taiwan Alliance to End Death Penalty issued two reports on public opinions on death penalty. One report, based on a survey conducted by Academia Sinica member Qu Hai-yuan, shows that the public's opinion on the subject is complicated, even the placement of the question in the survey could lead to a 6 percent difference in their answer. Moreover, if a perpetrator suffers from mental illnesses, the rate of support for death penalty even drops by almost 50 percent.


In order to find out the attitude of Taiwan's public on the abolishment of death penalty, Qu Hai-yuan, a scholar from Academia Sinica, recently concluded a survey. The results show that, if the question of abolishing death penalty is asked at the beginning, 88 percent say they are against it. If the question is asked about it at the end of the survey, then the proportion of opposition drops to 82 percent, down by 6 percent. The survey also asked questions on individual cases, such as the murdering of younger children by an adult male. If the public is informed that the man suffers from mental illness, the rate of supporting death penalty drops from 83 percent to 34 percent, a difference of almost 50 percent.

The making and changing of government policy can't just be based on simple public opinions. The government has to understand what the public actually think. Only policies made based on in-depth understanding of public opinion are the right ones.

Another report analyzes the past verdict of death penalty. The analysis shows that among 62 cases in which the victim was sentenced to death, 10 showed severe flaws in its ruling where the prosecutor did not have adequate evidence. In 32 cases, the prosecutors did not prove the crime was premeditated, and in 28 cases, the judge gave a verdict on the suspect's intention without adequate evidence. These oversights could have led to the wrongly execution of innocent suspects.

No matter how well developed, resourced and sophisticated a criminal justice system may be, human error filters into any system. The prevalence of wrongful conviction has exposed the fallibility of every criminal justice model and has led some states to abolish the death penalty all together.

The Taiwan Alliance to End Death Penalty stresses that, unlike popular belief, death penalty isn't effective in curbing crimes nor does it make the society a safer place. It's more so a political move. The alliance also says that majority support for death penalty also doesn't necessarily represents the public's true opinions. The alliance has called on the government to draw up plans to replace death penalty in order to move closer to its abolishment.



台灣民眾對於廢除死刑的態度為何?中研院學者瞿海源主持,並完成相關調查報告,發現若一開始就問是否支持廢死?反對高達88%,若放在最後問,則降為82%,減少6%,另外針對個案,有男子隨機殺害十歲小女孩,若告訴受訪民眾,加害人患有驚神疾病,支持死刑的人會從83%降低至34%,相差近50個百分點。

中研院社會研究所名譽教授 瞿海源表示:「政府的政策依據,不能靠簡單的民意,要深入了解民意到底什麼意思,根據具體的更仔細的民意,去做政策可能才是正確的。」

另一份報告,則是分析台灣死刑案件的判決內容,檢視62件死刑案中,有10件出現重大瑕疵,欠缺支撐檢方的有罪證據,有32件未能證明屬預謀犯案,28件則是欠缺實證下,斷言犯罪意圖,可能導致無辜清白的人,因此遭判死刑。

「死刑專案」共同執行長雷紹爾律師表示:「無論是發展多好,資源豐富的,或有多周延的刑事司法系統,人為失誤還是會出現在系統內,冤案會如此層出不窮,顯示司法系統會出錯,因為這樣讓一些國家決定廢死。」

廢死聯盟強調,死刑制度並不如民眾所認為的有用及安全,而政治人物引用的,極大多數民眾支持死刑的數字,也不一定代表社會真實,呼籲政府跟隨民間腳步,提出死刑的配套方案,邁向廢死的目標。