This was originally posted as a Facebook note by the author.
The recent arrest of an author has highlighted the Mandatory Death Penalty here in Singapore once again, even with the various Human Right's groups and activists doggedly denouncing the Mandatory Death Penalty throughout the years, it was only after the arrest of a British Author did the issue gain renewed interest by the Internet Population at large and the International Media.
The issue of late has been hotly debated both online and in the International Media, likewise by my friends, family and neighbours. It is however interesting to note that, the majority of people inadvertently and unwittingly adjoin the terms“Mandatory Death Penalty” and “The Death Penalty” together.
This misunderstanding of these terms, serve to alienate those who feel that the Death Penalty while extremely archaic is still necessary to facilitate the rule of law against certain criminal offences.
The term “Mandatory Death Penalty” however is distinctly apart form the the term “ The Death Penalty” where it describes the act of Execution in Criminal Law, and Statutes.
Mandatory Death Penalty is the reference to how the Death Penalty is applied, by the Courts to an accused awaiting his sentence to the crime, which calls for the Death Sentence.
In Singapore, the Mandatory Death Penalty, disallows the Judge from passing Judgment on the merits or demerits with regards to the circumstance, surrounding the case. In stark contrast to the 5 boys who were accused of Raping a girl in a Singapore flat, whilst she was under the influence of alcohol, the charges where reduced due to the extenuating circumstance that the the Judge thought had existed. They were not charged with Rape.
My personal thoughts about this ruling aside, this flexibility had it existed in the Drug Offense Legislation, many a men/women would not have been hanged.
If I were to understand that, the existence of the Death Penalty all these years had successfully wiped out Drug use, Drug Trafficking and Drug related crimes, I for one would stand opposed to the abolishment of the death penalty.
Sadly this is not the case, when we take a cursory glance at the National and Worldwide Statistics.
Terrorism destroys and endangers far greater loss of lives and compromises National Security, why then is the Mandatory Death Penalty not applied to Terrorist related activities and terrorism in general.
Terrorist that had the potential to kill thousands of lives are instead rehabilitated, and assimilated back into Society, once they have successfully gone through rehabilitation.
I for one am glad that they are, I believe they deserve a second chance especially given the fact that most of them are misled, misinformed and led astray by a greater force that used them for their own purpose and gain.
When a Young boy smuggled drugs into Singapore, and taking into account his age and mental acuity, I need not go far to “assume” that he too had been misled, ,misinformed and led astray by a greater force that used him for their own purpose and gain.
I albeit silently prejudiced, still do not see the difference, do you ?
I sincerely Hope the life, the life of a young Human - - the life of any human is not taken from us...I was once told by someone I respect; that seeing as how this measure is undertaken under all our names - we all should know the mechanisims of this abboration called the Mandatory Death Penalty.