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Review of mandatory death penalty allows court discretion under two specific conditions

Posted by temasektimes on July 10, 2012

Following rising public concern and opposition at the use of the mandatory death penalty in Singapore, the government has proceeded to review it and parliament was given an update of the review in relation to laws related to drug offences and certain types of homicides on Monday.

Speaking to the House, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean said that all executions that have come due since the review started in July 2011, have been deferred.

“The death penalty has been an important part of our criminal justice system for a very long time, similar to the position in a number of other countries. Singaporeans understand that the death penalty has been an effective deterrent and an appropriate punishment for very serious offences, and largely support it. As part of our penal framework, it has contributed to keeping crime and the drug situation under control,” he said.

Though the mandatory death penalty would continue to apply in most circumstances, the courts now have the discretion to decide if it is applied under two specific, tightly-defined conditions.

These conditions are: firstly, the trafficker must have only played the role of courier, and must not have been involved in any other activity related to the supply or distribution of drugs; secondly, discretion will only apply if having satisfied the first requirement, either the trafficker has cooperated with the Central Narcotics Bureau in a substantive way, or he has a mental disability which substantially impairs his appreciation of the gravity of the act.

“The government’s duty is first and foremost to provide a safe and secure living environment for Singaporeans to bring up their families. We must be constantly vigilant, adapt our law enforcement strategies and deterrence and punishment regime to remain ahead of criminals,” he added.


11 Responses to “Review of mandatory death penalty allows court discretion under two specific conditions”

  1. stevenado said

    Kudos to Mr. M Ravi, he has a part in it.

  2. Julie Ong said

    Mr Teo Chee Hean, I will trust your judgment on this matter this time.
    I hope that you’ve been thoughtful, i.e. be circumspect as well as consider others’ viewpoints. This is a grave issue. Life and death decision/judgment.
    I was so terribly pained when we hanged Mr Nguyen Truong Van for drug trafficking. My point is this: where there’s life there’s hope. After mati bo liao! You agree?
    Everybody sometimes in their lives do nonsense things. Bad things also. Are we going then to say that our excrement smells better than others?
    Please don’t for a moment think I’m a ‘softie’. Just a simple person with feelings.
    Good luck and I hope that this will turn out to be a wholesome and excellent piece
    of amended legislation.

  3. sorahi said


    • Julie Ong said

      Good one, Sorahi.
      Once hanged cannot be ‘unhanged’.
      That’s the reason the death penalty is so troubling.
      Need to rethink capital punishment.

      Ideas, anyone, please?

  4. Once again another cosmetic surgery to support the immigration policies. Lobbyists have been fighting for the drug capital punishment to be lifted or relaxed and the authorities have not budged. Guess they realise now that the FTs come from countries with more relaxed laws regarding opiates and hallucinogens. Well, one sick way of looking at all this is to be thankful to the FTs. PAP what is wrong with your policies? Why are you so stubborn when your people ask for something and on the other hand you bend over backwards to pander to the foreigners and tolerate their less than desirable habits?

  5. I think I know what they mean when they said that foreigners create work. They create more shit work for our ministries and govt. Now the ministries have reason to hire even more incompetent poops that only waste taxpayers’ money.

  6. Ron said

    Wonderful news indeed.

    All drug traffickers caught should have been used to trap those who sent them or used them. By cooperating with overseas Police forces, they may be able to go back upstream to reach the masterminds.

    Very often there is a press release of a drug find and arrest. Why the hurry? The public is not affected by the bust. Rather keep it quiet to trap more traffickers or the go-betweens. Can always charge the traffickers later. And depending on how they cooperated, the sentence will be decided.

    And to track them there should be a law to allow for insertion of a tracking device into their body… with micro devices this should be achievable. In this way, they cannot escape.

  7. Derp said

    Now hor, the rich and powerful can traffic, take and sell drugs without worry, while the poor and mules be sure to be executed right?

    • mel said

      I remember not long ago they caught some drug offenders during a raid and a number of them were rich and influential people.

  8. Ken Lee said

    answers : what do you think?

  9. Anon said

    Sorry hor, law is law, you break you pay accordingly, if its death then let it be so, if i peddle drugs, get caught and sentenced to death so be it, i will not be an idiot begging for mercy blaming everyone else but me. You have your own opinion about it and i too am entitled to my opinion about it, if someone peddle drugs or kill my love ones, i sure demand death to that person.

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