Monday, October 21, 2013

Say NO to Malaysia's attempt to introduce another mandatory death penalty offence

Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2013 is trying to introduce another offence (the proposed new section 130 qa) whose sentence is the MANDATORY Death Penalty. The Bill is currently being debated in the lower House of Parliament, the Dewan Rakyat.

130qa.  Whoever accepts gratification to facilitate or enable the commission of any terrorist act shall be punished—
(a) if the act results in death, with death; and
(b) in any other case, with imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years but not exceeding thirty years, and shall also be liable to fine.”.
We condemn the creation of yet another MANDATORY Death Penalty offence - when Malaysia really should be following the global trend towards abolition of the Death Penalty.

A mandatory death penalty also removes judicial discretion when it comes to sentencing, and this is wrong. Death penalty (although we oppose  this), could be an option available to judges which could be used in the worst case scenario, but Judges should also have the option to sentence persons to imprisonments, which could extend extend natural life imprisonment.

In this modern day and age, death penalty is no more necessary. It has been shown even in Malaysia that the death penalty does not serve as a deterrent. There are available alternatives like long prison terms, life imprisonment or even imprisonment for the natural life of the convicted (i.e. that person will be in jail until he/she dies).

We do not want to risk sending an innocent person to death - and there has been so many cases where the innocent have been killed by the State. A most recent case has been the Taiwan case. [See]

"My son was killed for a crime he did not commit…. our family has lived in shame and neighbours never spoke to us. Whatever apology or compensation the government promises, it is too late.”- Wang Tsai-lien, mother of Chiang Kuo-ching who was coerced into making a confession and subsequently executed in error in 1997 in Taiwan.
Malaysia really must abolish the death penalty - and most importantly and immediately remove the MANDATORY death sentence from all laws. Return to judges the discretion when it comes to sentencing - so that people can be sentenced taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of their case...

No comments: