TOC TV takes to the street to ask young Singaporeans what they think about the mandatory death sentence. You may be surprised to know that many people, even those in the legal circle do not know that such a law exists.
This is the reason why an educational campaign is so important, because the truth about mandatory sentencing is that it is a law that gives the offender no chance of requital, and Singapore is one of the few countries left in the world that continue to religiously execute drugs offenders.
When people realise how unfair such a law is, they will think twice about callously supporting the mandatory death penalty. Death should never be mandatory. Even murderers sometime get a chance to be convicted for manslaughter, which carries life imprisonment, why not drug traffickers?
4 Feb 10 Update:
TOC interviews NUS law students on the mandatory death penalty. Most of the students interviewed knows what the mandatory death penalty carries, and find the law to be overly heavy to the convicted, especially for drug traffickers. Their responses are a stark contrast to the man on the street, because information on the implication of mandatory sentencing is not readily available, and practically never discussed in the mainstream media.
People cannot take a stand on something they never heard about, and the mainstream media have a moral obligation to inform the general public about this issue because any judicial execution in Singapore is carried out in the name of every Singapore citizen.
What Singaporeans have to say about the mandatory death sentence.
“Put to death without regard for his lack of a prior criminal record, his tragic family circumstances, the possibility that he can be reformed, or whether or not an alternative punishment might suffice.”
“It is forgotten that an important part of justice is mercy. We do not hang human beings. Especially teenagers.”
”When the State brings its criminal jurisdiction to bear, it acts on behalf of you and me. If Vui Kong is hanged, he will be hanged in your name and mine.”
“Singaporeans have a moral role to play for Yong Vui Kong’s impending execution. ”
"Singapore puts an estimated 50 people to death every year, in the name of public safety.
1. The death penalty acts as a deterrent. <— DEBUNKED by counter-arguments and detailed studies all over the world. 2. The death penalty makes our society safe. <— DEBUNKED by counter-arguments which show that a safe Singapore is the result of many other factors such as education, income level, employment, etc. What if it was your son or daughter facing the noose? Have some empathy, have some compassion. Think deeper. Take time to read. To inform yourselves. You owe it to yourselves."
"In Singapore the judge has no dicretion on the mitigating factors – such as his impoverished background, his abusive childhood, his witnessing of his mother being beaten up, his witnessing of his mother attempting suicide, etc. All these had a lasting and psychological effect on Vui Kong."
It was because of all these that he lied to his mother that someone had wanted to adopt him as his godson. This was the reason he gave his mother when he left that house in the forest when he was 12.
Imagine: At a tender age of 12, he wanted to work so that he could bring his mother out of that house. Yet, he is now sentenced to death. Judges should be allowed to consider mitigating factors."
"Putting him away is not good enough for you people? Taking his freedom away is not extreme enough for you? Splitting his buttocks is not babaric enough to satisfy you? No, you want him, someone you don’t give 2 hoots about, dead. So that other ‘ignorant fools’ like him can learn eh? As long as they breathe and possess a brain, they should take heed eh?"
"He is afterall a nobody to you. You probably have more feeling for some ficticious one dimensional character in the movies than you have for Yong Vui Kong, a real person, a very young person. Do you not think his aspirations might be similar to yours at around the same age? But no, he ‘chose’ to be born in the wrong family, he ‘chose’ to be born in the wrong environment, he chose to pick the wrong jobs, he chose wrong friends, he loves money differently from you, and he chose the wrong choice, so kill him, it’s ok, life’s unfair, tough, my breakfast taste the same tomorrow."
Mandatory Death Penalty -
Interview with Rev. Dr. Edward Job
Interview with Rev. Dr. Edward Job