‘Negligent homicide’ penalty not severe enough: Taiwan MOJ

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Ministry of Justice (MOJ, 法務部) announced on Tuesday that it will convene a criminal law research team to quickly study and put forward a draft increasing the severity of the penalty for ‘negligent homicide.”

The proposal came about after the recent Taroko train crash, which was a result of the negligence of truck driver Lee Yi-hsiang (李義祥) whose crane truck fell onto the tracks causing the accident.

According to the MOJ, the draft has now been sent to the Executive Yuan for review a few days ago.

According to the MOJ, Minister Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that in light of the unfortunate casualties caused by the major accident, how to adequately punish the offense while also taking into account the feelings of victims’ families has been actively discussed.

In addition to collecting legislative examples from various countries and listening to opinions from all walks of life, a criminal law research group has also been convened for in-depth discussion by experts and scholars, the MOJ said.

Recently, a draft amendment to increase punishment has been put forward and sent to the Executive Yuan for review to safeguard people’s rights and interests.

The Taroko accident which killed 49 people and seriously injured more than 200 people recently came to a temporary pause as the Hualien District Attorney’s Office concluded its investigation on April 17.

For the accident, Lee, the main suspect, was prosecuted for crimes such as negligent homicide and hit-and-run, and was sought the highest punishment.

Migrant worker “A Hao” was also sued for negligent homicide and was sentenced to set-term imprisonment of more than 3 years.