The blog Asia Death Penalty blogs on efforts to get Taiwan to discontinue use of death as a punishment.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice has announced that during 2007 it would encourage debate about abolishing the death penalty, including a program of research, seminars and public hearings across the country.

The China Post reported that the ministry would encourage the public to think about and debate the issues, according to Chang Chi-yun, the director of the ministry’s Department of Prevention, Rehabilitation and Protection.

Chang said the ministry would encourage members of the public to participate in hearings in northern, central and southern Taiwan during the year.

He said he had also met with members of groups opposed to the death penalty and family members of the victims of crime.

The ministry would also commission research into the issue from the Crime Research Center of the National Chung Cheng University, Chung said.

For those of you interested in this issue, the blog has links to previous stories and discussions as well.