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The conviction and sentencing of former Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian is a troubling development. The life sentence handed down to Mr. Chen is certain to deepen the fissures in an already deeply divided and volatile society. He has appealed the sentence.

While justice should be blind, it can and should be tempered by other considerations, such as mercy or, in this case, the desire to avoid the radicalization of Taiwan’s politics. In other words, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, Mr. Chen’s successor, should be thinking of a pardon.

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