Taiwan’s Minister of Justice, Wang Ching-feng, recently resigned from her post after expressing her strong opposition to the country’s death penalty. Since her position was essential to her beliefs but incompatible with those of Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou and some members of her own political party, she decided not to continue in office. “I would rather step down than sign any death warrant,” she said. “If these convicts can have an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves, I would be very happy to be executed … in their stead.” Taiwan has had a de facto moratorium on executions for the last four years, with no executions since 2005. A total of 49 executions were carried out between 2000 and 2005. Taiwan is among 62 countries around the world that still maintain the death penalty, including China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United States and Pakistan that account for over 90% of all executions worldwide.

(“Taiwan justice minister resigns over death penalty,” BBC News, March 12, 2010). See also International.