Capital punishment in Singapore

Capital punishment is a legal penalty in Singapore. It is applied in practice mainly for murder and drug-related crimes, as well as some firearm-related offences.

The first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, was a staunch supporter of capital punishment. Each execution in Singapore is carried out by long drop hanging in Changi Prison at dawn, except once on 20 May 2016 when the execution of Kho Jabing was carried out at 3:30 pm after his appeal for a stay of execution was dismissed that same morning.[1] In a survey done in 2005 by the The Straits Times, 95% of Singaporeans believe that their country should retain the death penalty.[2]

Singapore has had capital punishment since it was a British colony and became independent before the United Kingdom abolished capital punishment. The Singaporean procedure of hanging condemned individuals is similar to the methods formerly used in the United Kingdom. Capital punishment is considered the norm in East Asia in contrast to Western countries which has largely abolished it within the last century (with a notable exception being the United States), with its use also legal in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

In 2012, however, Singapore amended its laws to exempt some cases from the mandatory death sentence.[3]

StatisticsEdit

The following table of executions was compiled by Amnesty International from several sources, including statistics supplied by the Ministry of Home Affairs in January 2001 and government figures reported to Agence France-Presse in September 2003.[4] Numbers in curly brackets are the number of foreign citizens executed, according to information disclosed by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Year Murder Drug-related Firearms Total
1991 19 7 0 26
1992 13 7 1 21
1993 10 2 0 12
1994 21 54 1 76
1995 20 52 1 73
1996 10 {7} 40 {10} 0 50
1997 {3} 11 {2} 5 15
1998 4 {1} 24 {5} 0 28
1999 8 {2} 35 {7} 0 43
2000 4 {2} 17 {5} 0 21
2000 ? 23 ? ?
2001 ? 22 ? ?
2002 ? ? ? ?
2003 ? ? ? 10
2004 ? ? ? 8{2}[5]
2005 ? ? ? 8{1}[5]
2006 ? ? ? 8{2}[5]
2007 1 2 0 3{2}[5]
2008 4 2 0 6{3}[6]
2009 1 3 1 5{2}[6]
2010 0 0 0 0[6]
2011 2? 2 0? 4[7]
2012 0 0 0 0[8]
2013 0 0 0 0[8]
2014 0 2 0 2[8]
2015 1 3 0 4[9]
2016 2 2 0 4[10]
2017 0 8 0 8[11][12][13][14]
2018 2 11 0 13[15][16][17][18]
2019 2 2 0 4[19]
2020

Detailed statistics were not released by the Singapore government between 2000 and 2006. Singapore's Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong told the BBC in September 2003 that he believed there were "in the region of about 70 to 80" hangings in 2003. Two days later he retracted his statement, saying the number was in fact ten.[20]

The chief executioner, Darshan Singh, said that he has executed more than 850 people during his service from 1959 using the phrase: "I am going to send you to a better place than this. God bless you." This included 18 people on one day, using three ropes at a time. Singh also said that he has hanged seven people within 90 minutes.[21]

Foreign nationalsEdit

The people on death row include foreign nationals, many of whom were convicted of drug-related offences. These inmates come from a diverse range of countries, including the United States, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. Figures released by the Singapore government show that between 1993 and 2003, 36% of those executed were foreigners, including some residents in Singapore (half of Singapore residents are foreigners).[22]

LegislationEdit

Under Section 316 of the Criminal Procedure Code:[23]

"When any person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that he shall be hanged by the neck till he is dead but shall not state the place where nor the time when the sentence is to be carried out."

Hangings always take place at dawn on Friday and are by the long drop method developed in the United Kingdom by William Marwood. The executioner refers to the Official Table of Drops. The government have said that they:

"... had previously studied the different methods of execution and found no reason to change from the current method used, that is, by hanging."[24]

Since the use of the death penalty in Singapore, it is a normal practice that in the court, before the death sentence was passed, everyone who are present in the courtroom are told to stand up from their seats and remain silent, and by which moment, the judge would proceed to pronounce and pass the death sentence on the defendant, who was found guilty and convicted of the capital offence by the judge before sentencing.

Neither persons under the age of 18 at the time of their offence nor pregnant women can be sentenced to death. For those who were under 18 years old at the time of their offences, they would be indefinitely detained at the President's Pleasure (TPP), and the normal period of detention was between 10 and 20 years. There were reports of underaged offenders being detained under this practice from 1965 to 2008. In 2010, the law was amended to allow judges to mete out life imprisonment on offenders who were convicted of capital offences but aged below 18 at the time of their crimes instead of subjecting them to indefinite imprisonment under the TPP. They would be required to serve a minimum of 20 years before they can be reviewed for possible release.

Before its abolition in 1970, there were jury trials conducted to hear capital cases in Singapore since the British colonial rule of Singapore. Normally, a seven-men jury was set to hear the case together with a single judge, with the jurors being randomly selected from members of the public to hear the cases. After hearing the case, the judges would sum up the case and the arguments from the defence and the prosecution on behalf of the jurors to allow them to consider before they reached on their final verdict. The jury would take some time to consider if a person is guilty as charged or guilty of a lesser charge or not guilty before they released their final verdict based on the majority or unanimous decision. Based on the final verdict, the judge would convict and impose a penalty to the defendant in accordance to the charge he/she was found guilty of. One notable case where a person was sentenced to death in a jury trial was the trial of Prix driver and part-time law student Sunny Ang Soo Suan, who allegedly killed his girlfriend Jenny Cheok Cheng Kid during a scuba diving trip in 1963. Despite the circumstantial evidence and the absence of Cheok's body, the seven-men jury unanimously found Ang guilty of murder and sentenced him to death. Sunny Ang was eventually hanged on 6 February 1967 after he lost all his appeals to both the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council, and the failure of his clemency plea to President Yusof Ishak.[25]

However, the judicial jury system was met with inefficiencies, because it became harder for the jurors to decide if a person is guilty or not due to their lack of professional legal background. It was also harder for the jury to sentence people to death. Besides, the jury verdicts were decided not based on facts, evidence and law, but based on emotions, which allowed cases where people are clearly guilty as charged, yet escaped the penalties they deserved with lesser crimes or go scot-free, or cases of wrongful convictions or sentences or both. As such, the jury system was completely abolished with effect from January 1970 onwards, effectively making the murder trials of Tan Cheng Eng William, Freddy Tan Seng Keng and Ho Joon Toh as the last jury trials conducted for capital cases in Singapore.[26][27][28] The capital cases were instead heard before two judges in the High Court; this practice lasted from 1970 to 1992.

The first person to be tried before two judges in the High Court and sentenced to death for a capital case was 36-year-old armed robber and gunman Teo Cheng Leong, who fired two missed shots at a police officer while trying to evade capture for an armed robbery in March 1969; he was convicted of unlawfully discharging his firearm in February 1970, for which the crime carries either a sentence of life imprisonment or death before the enactment of the 1973 Arms Offences Act (which mandates the death penalty for illegal discharge of firearms). Teo was subsequently hanged, presumably in 1971 or 1972, while two out of his three other accomplices of the robbery were convicted and served 10 years' imprisonment each for armed robbery; the third accomplice was never found till today.[29] Another first case was the kidnapping and murder of Ong Beang Leck, where five men were involved in the abduction of 19-year-old Ong Beang Leck, who was the son of a rich towkay in Singapore, and murdered him after luring him into a rented car on 24 May 1968; after Ong's death, the killers even extorted ransom from Ong's father Ong Yew Kee before their arrests three weeks later. Three of the five kidnappers - Lee Chor Pet (the mastermind and a close friend of the victim Ong Beang Leck), Lim Kim Kwee and Ho Kee Fatt - were convicted of murder and sentenced to death on 11 June 1970 while the rest - Chow Sien Cheong and Richard Lai Chun Seng - escaped with jail terms of four years each for abetting the abduction and possessing the ransom money. The three convicted killers were eventually hanged on 27 January 1973.[30]

Today, since the amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code in 1992, all capital cases are heard by a single judge in the High Court instead of two judges. After conviction and sentencing, the sentenced has one appeal to the Court of Appeal. If the appeal fails, the final recourse rests with the President, who has the power to grant clemency on the advice of the Cabinet. In exceptional cases since 2012, the Court of Appeal would be asked to review its previous decisions in concluded criminal appeals where it was necessary to correct a miscarriage of justice, most of which involved drug cases attracting the death penalty. The exact number of successful appeals is unknown. In November 1995, one Poh Kay Keong had his conviction overturned after the court found his statement to a Central Narcotics Bureau officer was made under duress.[4] Another case was Nadasan Chandra Secharan, who was initially convicted of murder and sentenced to death by the High Court in June 1996, but later acquitted of murder by the Court of Appeal in January 1997, after they found the evidence against him was insufficient to show that he had murdered his lover Ramipiram Kannickaisparry.[31][32] A more recent case was that of Ismil bin Kadar, who was initially sentenced to death for a 2005 robbery-murder case in Boon Lay, but eventually acquitted of the crime as the Court of Appeal found that based on the evidence, Ismil was not involved in the case and that it was solely his younger brother Muhammad bin Kadar who was responsible for the robbery and murder; Muhammad was subsequently executed in April 2015.[33][34] Successful clemency applications are thought to be even rarer. Since 1965, the President's clemency has been granted seven times.[35] The last clemency was in November 2018, when the teen who murdered the wife of Anthony Ler received clemency from President Halimah Yacob. The teen was represented by lawyer Peter Ong Lip Cheng of Peter Ong Law Corporation.[36]

Previously, other than the Court of Appeal of Singapore, criminals in Singapore (including those who were sentenced to death) were allowed to file criminal or civil appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, where the judges in London can hear these appeals. This avenue of appeal was fully abolished for all criminal and civil matters in April 1994. One case where an appeal to the Privy Council was successful was the case of death row convict and murderer Mohamed Yasin bin Hussein (also spelt Mohamed Yasin bin Hussin). Yasin, alias Rosli, was 19 years of age when he robbed, raped and murdered a 58-year-old Chinese woman on Pulau Ubin in April 1972. He was sentenced to death for murder in 1974 while his 25-year-old accomplice Harun bin Ripin (or Harun bin Ariffin) was instead sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment and 12 strokes of the cane for robbery by night. Yasin also lost his appeal to the Court of Appeal in Singapore before the Privy Council accepted his appeal and sentenced him to 2 years' imprisonment for causing death while committing a rash/negligent act. Yasin was subsequently sentenced to another 8 years' imprisonment for attempted rape of the victim.[37]

In November 2012, capital punishment laws in Singapore were revised such that the mandatory death penalty for those convicted of drug trafficking or murder was lifted under certain specific conditions. Judges were empowered with the discretion to sentence such offenders to life imprisonment, which suggests the prisoner lives his entire natural life in jail with the possibility of appeal after 20 years (Before the landmark judgement of Abdul Nasir bin Amer Hamsah's appeal on 20 August 1997, a life sentence meant 20 years' imprisonment, and with one-third remission for good behaviour, it would be 13 years and 4 months for the offender receiving the said sentence).[38] For more details, see below.

The condemned are given notice at least four days before execution. In the case of foreigners who have been sentenced to death, their families and diplomatic missions/embassies are given one to two weeks' notice.[39]

Amnesty International reports that death row inmates are housed in cells of roughly three square metres (32 square feet).[4] Walls make up three sides, while the fourth is vertical bars. They are equipped with a toilet, a sleeping mat, and a bucket for washing. Exercise is permitted twice a day for half an hour at a time.[39] Four days before the execution, the condemned is allowed to watch television or listen to the radio.[4] Special meals of their choice are also cooked, if within the prison budget. Visiting rights are increased from one 20-minute visit per week to a maximum of four hours each day,[39] though no physical contact is allowed with any visitors.[4]

Capital offencesEdit

In addition to the Penal Code, there are four Acts of Parliament that prescribe death as punishment for offences. According to a Singaporean civil rights group, the Think Centre, 70% of hangings are for drug-related offences.[40] In 2017, all 8 hangings were for drug offences that year, and 11 of 13 in 2018.[14]

Penal CodeEdit

Under the Penal Code,[41] the commission of the following offences may result in the death penalty:

  • Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against the government (§121)
  • Offences against the president's person (in other words, treason) (§121A)
  • Piracy that endangers life (§130B) (mandatory)
  • Genocide resulting in death (§130E) (mandatory)
  • Abetting of mutiny (§132)
  • Perjury that results in the execution of an innocent person (§194)
  • Murder (§302) (mandatory for S300(a) of the Penal Code; discretionary for S300(b), S300(c) and S300(d) of the Penal Code)
  • Abetting the suicide of a person under the age of 18 or an "insane" person (§305)
  • Attempted murder by a prisoner serving a life sentence (§307 (2)) (mandatory)
  • Kidnapping in order to commit murder (§364)
  • Robbery committed by five or more people that results in the death of a person (§396)

Since the Penal Code (Amendment) Act 2007,[42] Singapore no longer allows for the death penalty for rape nor mutiny.

Arms Offences ActEdit

The Arms Offences Act under Singapore law regulates criminal offences dealing with firearms and weapons.[43] Any person who uses or attempts to use arms (Section 4) can face execution, as well as any person who uses or attempts to use arms to commit scheduled offences (Section 4A). These scheduled offences are being a member of an unlawful assembly; rioting; certain offences against the person; abduction or kidnapping; extortion; burglary; robbery; preventing or resisting arrest; vandalism; mischief. Any person who is an accomplice (Section 5) to a person convicted of arms use during a scheduled offence can likewise be executed.

Trafficking in arms (Section 6) is a capital offence in Singapore. Under the Arms Offences Act, trafficking is defined as being in unlawful possession of more than two firearms.

Misuse of Drugs ActEdit

 
The Singapore embarkation card contains a warning to visitors about the death penalty for drug trafficking. Warning signs can also be found at the Johor-Singapore Causeway and other border entries.

Under Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act,[44][45] any person importing, exporting, or found in possession of more than the following quantities of drugs receives a mandatory death sentence:

  • 1200 grams of opium and containing more than 30 grams of morphine (§5 and §7, (2)(b));
  • 30 grams of morphine (§5 and §7, (3)(b));
  • 15 grams of diamorphine (heroin) (diamo (§5 and §7, (4)(b));
  • 30 grams of cocaine (§5 and §7, (5)(b));
  • 500 grams of cannabis (§5 and §7, (6)(b));
  • 1000 grams of cannabis mixture (§5 and §7, (7)(b));
  • 200 grams of cannabis resin (§5 and §7, (8)(b));
  • 250 grams of methamphetamine (§5 and §7, (9)(b)).

Death sentences are also mandatory for any person caught manufacturing :

  • Morphine, or any salt of morphine, ester of morphine or salt of ester of morphine (§6, (2));
  • Diamorphine (heroin) or any salt of diamorphine (§6, (3));
  • Cocaine or any salt of cocaine (§6, (4));
  • Methamphetamine (§6, (5)).

Under the Act:

any person who is proved to have had in his possession or custody or under his control —

  1. anything containing a controlled drug;
  2. the keys of anything containing a controlled drug;
  3. the keys of any place or premises or any part thereof in which a controlled drug is found; or
  4. a document of title relating to a controlled drug or any other document intended for the delivery of a controlled drug,

shall, until the contrary is proved, be presumed to have had that drug in his possession.

Furthermore, any person who has a controlled drug in his possession shall be presumed to have known the nature of that drug.[citation needed]

The majority of executions in Singapore are for drug offences. Since 2010, 23 prisoners have been executed for drug offences, while only 5 have been executed for other offences, such as murder. Death penalty supporters, such as the blogger Benjamin Chang, claim that Singapore has one of the lowest prevalence of drug abuse worldwide: he claims, for instance, that over two decades, the number of drug abusers arrested each year has declined by two-thirds, from over 6,000 in the early 1990s to about 2,000 in 2011.[46] The validity of these figures is disputed by other Singaporeans, such as the Singaporean drugs counsellor Tony Tan.[47] The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime notes that Singapore remains a transit destination for drug traffickers in Asia, drug seizures continue to increase and heroin drug use within Singapore is continuing to rise.[48]

Internal Security ActEdit

The preamble of the Internal Security Act states that it is an Act to "provide for the internal security of Singapore, preventive detention, the prevention of subversion, the suppression of organised violence against persons and property in specified areas of Singapore, and for matters incidental thereto".[49] The President of Singapore has the power to designate certain security areas. Any person caught in the possession or with someone in possession of firearms, ammunition or explosives in a security area can be punished by death.

Kidnapping ActEdit

The terms of the Kidnapping Act designate abduction, wrongful restraint or wrongful confinement for ransom as capital offences.[50]

Public debateEdit

Public debate in the Singaporean news media on the death penalty is almost non-existent, although the topic does occasionally get discussed in the midst of major, well-known criminal cases. Efforts to garner public opinion on the issue are rare, although it has been suggested that the population is influenced by a traditional Chinese view which held that harsh punishment deters crime and helps maintain social peace and harmony.[51] In October 2007, Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee said in Parliament that "Certain of us may hold the view that the death penalty should be abolished. But in a survey done two years ago, reported in The Straits Times, 95% of Singaporeans feel that the death penalty should stay. This is something which has helped us to be safe and secure all these years and it is only reserved for a very few select offences."[2]

Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, a former opposition Member of Parliament, was reportedly only given a few minutes to speak in Parliament on the issue before his comments were rebutted by Ho Peng Kee.[4][52]

Few other opposition Members of Parliament would bring up the issue, which may be reflective of a population generally indifferent to the matter.

Before the hanging of Shanmugam Murugesu, a three-hour vigil was held on 6 May 2005. The organisers of the event at the Furama Hotel said it was the first such public gathering organised solely by members of the public against the death penalty in Singapore. Murugesu had been arrested after being caught in possession of six packets containing just over 1 kilograms of cannabis after returning from Malaysia. He admitted knowledge of one of the packets, which contained 300 grams, but not the other five.[53][54] The event went unreported on the partially state-owned media and the police shut down an open microphone session just as the first person began to speak.[53][55]

After the hanging of Van Tuong Nguyen, a Vietnamese-Australian from Melbourne, on 2 December 2005, Sister Susan Chia, province leader of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Singapore, declared that "The death penalty is cruel, inhumane and it violates the right to life." Chia and several other nuns comforted Nguyen's mother two weeks before his execution for heroin trafficking.[56]

Singapore's death penalty laws have drawn comments in the media. For example, science fiction author William Gibson, while a journalist, wrote a travel piece on Singapore that he sarcastically titled "Disneyland with the Death Penalty".[57]

In 2010 British author Alan Shadrake published his book Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock, which was critical of the Singapore judicial system.[58] Shadrake was arrested whilst promoting the book in Singapore and later sentenced to six weeks in prison for contempt of court. He is also charged with criminal defamation. The case attracted worldwide attention, putting the Singapore legal system in the spotlight.[59][60] Shadrake apologised to the court if he had offended the sensitivities of the judiciary and did not mean to undermine the judges or the judiciary, but stood by his book, apart from one small mistake.[61]

My so-called apology was to merely point out that my book was sub-titled Singapore Justice in the Dock – NOT Singapore Judiciary in the Dock. I did not 'apologise' at all and welcomed the prison sentence which drew even more attention to the real issues. The many cases I exposed where various judges sentenced some accused to death despite dubious, suspect evidence concocted by the police and their informers while others with powerful countries behind them had their charges inexplicably reduced to a non-hanging offence. But Judge Loh completely ignored the evidence I produced in Once a Jolly Hangman even though he claimed to have read it from cover to cover. This proved again that the judiciary is not independent from the executive – a fact which the International Bar Association ably pointed out in its 2008 report on Singapore – and that the judiciary has to do the government's bidding when it suits them.

The judge, Quentin Loh, dismissed his apology as "nothing more than a tactical ploy in court to obtain a reduced sentence".[62] Shadrake's conviction for scandalising the court was upheld by the Court of Appeal.[63]

Law Society reviewEdit

In December 2005, the Law Society revealed that it has set up a committee, named Review Committee on Capital Punishment, to examine capital punishment in the country. The President of the Society, Senior Counsel Philip Jeyaretnam, said that the main focus of the review was on issues regarding administering the death penalty such as whether it should be mandatory. A report of the review would be submitted to the Ministry of Law.[64] On 6 November 2006, they were invited to give its views on proposed amendments to the Penal Code to the Ministry of Home Affairs. In their report, issued on 30 March 2007, they argued against the mandatory death penalty:

The death penalty should be discretionary for the offences where the death sentence is mandatory – murder, drug trafficking, firearms offences and sedition – a position similar to that for the offence of kidnapping. There are strong arguments for changing the mandatory nature of capital punishment in Singapore. Judges should be given the discretion to impose the death penalty only where deemed appropriate.[65]

Singapore government's responseEdit

The Singapore government states that the death penalty is only used in the most serious of crimes, sending, they say, a strong message to potential offenders. They point out that in 1994 and 1999 the United Nations General Assembly failed to adopt resolutions calling for a moratorium on the death penalty worldwide, as a majority of countries opposed such a move.

Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations wrote a letter to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in 2001 which stated:

"... the death penalty is primarily a criminal justice issue, and therefore is a question for the sovereign jurisdiction of each country [...] the right to life is not the only right, and [...] it is the duty of societies and governments to decide how to balance competing rights against each other."[4]

In January 2004, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a response to Amnesty International's report, "Singapore: The death penalty - A hidden toll of executions". It defended Singapore's policy to retain the death penalty, predicating its arguments on, among others, the following grounds:[39]

  • There is no international consensus on whether the death penalty should be abolished.
  • Each country has the sovereign right to decide on its own judicial system, taking into account its own circumstances.
  • The death penalty has been effective in keeping Singapore one of the safest places in the world to work and live in.
  • The application of the death penalty is only reserved for "very serious crimes".

The Ministry of Home Affairs also refuted Amnesty International's claims of the majority of the executed being foreigners, and that it was "mostly the poor, least educated, and vulnerable people who are executed". The Ministry stated: "Singaporeans, and not foreigners, were the majority of those executed... Of those executed from 1993 to 2003, 95% were above 21 years of age, and 80% had received formal education. About 80% of those who had been sentenced to capital punishment had employment before their convictions."[39]

Following the hanging of Van Tuong Nguyen in 2005, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reiterated the government's position, stating that "The evil inflicted on thousands of people with drug trafficking demands that we must tackle the source by punishing the traffickers rather than trying to pick up the pieces afterwards... It's a law which is approved of by Singapore's inhabitants and which allows us to reduce the drug problem."[66]

Prior to the United Nations General Assembly's voting on a moratorium on the death penalty in November 2007, Singapore's ambassador Vanu Gopala Menon said, "My delegation would like to remind this committee that capital punishment is not prohibited under international law. Yet it is clear that the sponsors of this draft resolution have decided that there can only be one view on capital punishment, and that only one set of choices should be respected... [the death penalty] is an important component of the administration of law and our justice system, and is imposed only for the most serious crimes and serves as a deterrent. We have proper legal safeguards in place to prevent any miscarriage of justice."[67]

In the most recent news, in October 2020, Law Minister K. Shanmugam emphasised that the death penalty is a powerful deterrent to capital crimes in Singapore. He cited the statistics of the rate of firearms-related offences and kidnapping cases had dropped dramatically after the introduction of the death penalty as evidence of its deterrence. Shanmugam also cited that after the government mandates the death penalty since 1991, the average net amount of opium trafficked dropped by 66% and many drug traffickers are illegally transporting less and less amounts of drugs to avoid the punishment. The government conducted surveys on Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans, and the majority of both groups responded that the death penalty is more effective than life imprisonment in discouraging people from committing capital offences.[68]

Impact on official debate and discussion in the United StatesEdit

In 2012, a couple of American elected officials and office-seekers have suggested that Singapore's success in combating drug abuse should be examined as a model for the United States. Michael Bloomberg, a former Mayor of New York City, said that the United States could learn a thing or two from nations like Singapore when it came to drug trafficking, noting that "executing a handful of people saves thousands and thousands of lives."[69] The last execution in New York took place in 1963. Several courts have ruled that the death penalty violates the New York Constitution (see People v. LaValle). In 2007, the state of New York abolished the death penalty. 21 states, plus Washington D.C., have abolished the death penalty, with the most recent being Colorado in 2020. However, certain states, such as Texas, still regularly execute prisoners for aggravated murder.

Even when an American politician mentions capital punishment in Singapore, the application of the death penalty in the United States is limited by the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution to only aggravated murders committed by mentally competent adults. For example, former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich repeated his longstanding advocacy for Singaporean methods in the United States's War on Drugs during campaign interviews and speeches.[70]

Notable cases of people sentenced to deathEdit

MurderEdit

  • Tan Kheng Ann (alias Robert Black), the mastermind of the Pulau Senang riot, where 70 to 90 inmates led by Tan, started a riot which destroyed and burned everything the inmates had built on Pulau Senang. During the riot, prison officer Daniel Stanley Dutton and his three assistants - Arumugan Veerasingham, Tan Kok Hian and Chok Kok Hong were murdered by the rioters, including Tan. Tan and 17 others were found guilty of murder in a specially-conducted jury trial and hanged in 1965 while the others were either acquitted of all criminal charges or jailed between 2 and 3 years for rioting.[71][72]
  • Usman bin Haji Muhammad Ali and Harun Thahir, two Indonesian marines who were convicted of murder and executed on 17 October 1968 for the 1965 MacDonald House bombing which killed three people.
  • Andrew Chou Hock Guan, his brother, and five other accomplices were executed on 28 February 1975 for the Gold Bars Triple Murders.[73][74][75]
  • Ong Hwee Kuan, Ong Chin Hock and Yeo Ching Boon, three youths all of the same age of 26, were hanged on 24 February 1984 for the robbery, kidnapping and murder of 18-year-old policeman Lee Kim Lai on 25 April 1978.[76][77]
  • Adrian Lim, Tan Mui Choo, and Hoe Kah Hong were executed on 25 November 1988 for the 1981 Toa Payoh ritual murders of a nine-year-old girl and a ten-year-old boy.
  • Sek Kim Wah, hanged on 9 December 1988 for the 1983 Andrew Road triple murders and used a rifle to commit robbery at the same time. He was also responsible for a double murder near Seletar Road.[78][79]
  • Vasavan Sathiadew (a.k.a. Augustine Tan Kim Siah), and his two Thai accomplices were hanged on 23 October 1992 for the 1984 revenge murder of Vasavan's foster brother Frankie Tan Tik Siah. The murder was known as Murder of Amex banker in Singapore's local newspapers.[80]
  • Flor Contemplacion, a Filipino domestic worker executed in March 1995 for murdering another Filipino domestic worker and a four-year-old boy.
  • John Martin Scripps, a British spree killer hanged in April 1996 for murdering three tourists. He was the first Briton to be executed in Singapore since the country gained independence in 1965.
  • Anthony Ler Wee Teang, was executed on 13 December 2002 for the contract killing of his wife Annie Leong Wai Mun.[81]
  • Took Leng How, a Malaysian-born vegetable packer hanged in November 2006 for the 2004 murder of Huang Na, an eight-year-old girl from China.
  • Mohammed Ali bin Johari, who was executed on 19 December 2008 for the 2006 child rape and murder of his step-daughter Nuraysura binte Mohamed Fauzi, also known as Nonoi.[82]
  • Kho Jabing, a Malaysian who was executed on 20 May 2016 for the 2008 robbery and murder of 40-year-old Chinese construction worker Cao Ruyin; another unnamed death row inmate was executed on the same day as Kho Jabing.
  • Micheal Anak Garing, a Malaysian who was being put to death on 22 March 2019 for the murder of construction worker Shanmuganathan Dillidurai during an armed robbery as part of the 2010 Kallang Slashings.[83][84]
  • Iskandar bin Rahmat, a former police officer who was sentenced to death in December 2015 for the Kovan Double Murders of 67-year-old Tan Boon Sin and his 42-year-old eldest son Tan Chee Heong during a robbery in July 2013. Iskandar is currently awaiting execution as of November 2020.[85][86]

Drug traffickingEdit

  • Johannes van Damme, a Dutch engineer and drug trafficker executed on 23 September 1994 for smuggling heroin. He was the first European to be executed in Singapore since the country gained independence in 1965.
  • Shanmugam Murugesu, a drug trafficker executed in May 2005 for smuggling cannabis.[87]
  • Van Tuong Nguyen, a Vietnamese-Australian drug trafficker executed in December 2005 for smuggling heroin.
  • Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, a Nigerian drug trafficker, executed in January 2007 for smuggling diamorphine.
  • Chijioke Stephen Obioha, a Nigerian who was sentenced to death for importing cannabis into Singapore. He was hanged on 18 November 2016, together with another drug trafficker.

Changes to the lawEdit

Amendments and impactEdit

In July 2012, the government decided to make a review of the mandatory death penalty applied to certain drug trafficking or murder offences. In the midst of this review, a moratorium was imposed on all the 35 pending executions in Singapore at that time (7 for murder and 28 for drug trafficking). During that period of the review of the mandatory death penalty, one convicted murderer named Pathip Selvan s/o Sugumaran (who made headlines for the violent murder of his 18-year-old girlfriend in 2008) won his appeal in October 2012 and was instead sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment for culpable homicide;[88][89] a Chinese national named Wang Zhijian, the culprit of the 2008 high-profile Yishun Triple Murders case, was sentenced to death in November 2012 (he is presumably executed since 2014 after the dismissal of his appeal),[90][91] and another unnamed death row convict died of natural causes while in prison.[92]

In January 2013, the law was amended to make the death penalty no longer mandatory for certain capital offences. The judges in Singapore were given an option to impose a sentence of life imprisonment with mandatory caning for offenders who commit murder but had no intention to kill, which came under Sections 300(b), 300(c) and 300(d) of the Penal Code (the death penalty remains mandatory only for murder offences committed with intention to kill, which came under section 300(a) of the Penal Code). This discretion is similarly applied to those convicted of drug trafficking, provided that they only act as couriers, suffering from impaired mental responsibility (e.g. depression), substantively assisting the authorities in tackling drug trafficking activities or any other conditions. For drug traffickers who were not being condemned to death but to life-long incarceration with caning, they should receive not less than 15 strokes of the cane. Despite this discretion, a sentence of life imprisonment is the mandatory minimum penalty one will face for murder or drug offences in these circumstances.

The first person to be convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for a capital offence under the amended death penalty laws was 30-year-old Singaporean drug trafficker Abdul Haleem bin Abdul Karim on 10 April 2013; he was certified to have been acting as courier and assisted the authorities in disrupting the drug trafficking activities after both his and his accomplice's arrest on 6 May 2010 for trafficking in 72.5 g of pure heroin. In addition to his life sentence, Abdul Haleem, who pleaded guilty to two charges of drug trafficking, was also given the maximum of 24 strokes of the cane.[93][94] Abdul Haleem's accomplice and friend, 28-year-old Muhammad Ridzuan bin Md Ali, on the other hand, was sentenced to death for drug trafficking and later put to death on 19 May 2017.[95] Similarly, the first executions carried out after the enactment of the death penalty laws were those of drug traffickers Tang Hai Liang and Foong Chee Peng on 18 July 2014.[92]

Re-sentencing of death row inmatesEdit

The amendments of the law also offered a chance for all the death row inmates to have their cases to be reviewed for re-sentencing.[96][97] There were also some cases where some death row inmates declined to be re-sentenced, including Tang Hai Liang and Foong Chee Peng (whose hangings were mentioned in the above paragraph).[92] The below cases are the known cases where some death row inmates applied for re-sentencing, as well as the details of their respective crimes and outcomes of their re-sentencing applications.

MurderEdit

  • Muhammad bin Kadar: On 6 May 2005, at a flat in Boon Lay, 29-year-old Singaporean and drug addict Muhammad bin Kadar knifed a 69-year-old elderly housewife named Tham Weng Kuen for more than 110 times during a robbery, leading to Tham's death. When he was arrested for the murder, Muhammad implicated his 37-year-old elder brother Ismil bin Kadar as an accomplice in the robbery and claimed that Ismil, who was also a drug addict himself, was the one who killed Tham when he went to ransack the flat (however, during the 94-day trial, Muhammad retracted this statement and claimed that his brother is innocent and he was the only one involved in the robbery). Ismil, who was later arrested and promptly charged with murder together with Muhammad, insisted his innocence throughout the trial and denied making any confessions about his alleged involvement in the crime. Nevertheless, after a trial lasting 94 days from 2006 to 2008, both brothers were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by the High Court.[98] Both brothers each filed an appeal; after reviewing the case and evidence, the Court of Appeal unanimously reached a conclusion that Ismil was not involved in the robbery and murder and that the High Court judge Woo Bih Li had erred in convicting Ismil of a crime he never committed. Therefore, on 6 July 2011, they acquitted Ismil of murder and set him free, while they dismissed Muhammad's appeal, upholding his sentence and conviction.[33][99] When changes to the law took effect in 2013, Muhammad applied for re-sentencing, but it was denied in September 2014 because the Court of Appeal were of the view that Muhammad had intended to cause death given the fact that he inflicted more than 110 knife wounds on Tham (even though his only intention was to rob the victim), which constitutes an offence of murder under Section 300(a) of the Penal Code, in which the death penalty is mandatory.[100][38] Muhammad was the first death row inmate to be denied re-sentencing since the enactment of the amended death penalty laws in January 2013. Eventually, on 17 April 2015, after the dismissal of his clemency plea and nearly 10 years after the death of Tham Weng Kuen, 39-year-old Muhammad bin Kadar was hanged in Changi Prison.[101][102]
  • Fabian Adiu Edwin: A construction worker from Sabah, Malaysia. In 2008, between 27 July to 23 August, together with his 25-year-old childhood friend Ellarry bin Puling, Fabian, who was merely 18 years old and also two months away from his 19th birthday at that time, went on to commit a series of violent robberies together with Ellary in which they had robbed a total of 6 victims. The duo's sixth and last victim, 35-year-old security guard Loh Ee Hui, was robbed and killed nearby a bus stop in Sims Avenue. He sustained skull fractures due to Fabian bludgeoning him on the head with a wooden stick while Ellarry acted as lookout. Loh later died in hospital from his injuries. Both men were arrested in early September 2008 and charged with murder. However, in September 2011, only Fabian was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Ellarry, who stood trial together with Fabian, was instead found guilty of a lesser charge of robbery with hurt.[103] Ellarry Puling was eventually sentenced to 19 years' imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane in March 2012.[104] Fabian lost his appeal against his sentence in August 2012. However, his hanging was put on hold pending the review of the mandatory death penalty in Singapore. After the amendments to the law took effect in January 2013, through his lawyer Anand Nalachandran, Fabian applied for re-sentencing and his case was sent back to Justice Chan Seng Onn, the original trial judge, for re-sentencing. On 17 July 2013, Fabian was re-sentenced to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane. His young age at the time of the offences and his sub-normal IQ were the factors which spared him from the gallows. Fabian Adiu Edwin was the first death row inmate convicted of murder to be spared the hangman's noose and given a reprieve with a life term instead.[38][105]
  • Kho Jabing: A rag and bone man from Sarawak, Malaysia. On 17 February 2008, 24-year-old Kho Jabing, together with his 23-year-old accomplice and shipyard worker Galing Anak Kujat, robbed two Chinese nationals in Geylang Drive. During the robbery, Kho used a tree branch to repeatedly bludgeon at one of the men before leaving with Galing. The man, 40-year-old construction worker Cao Ruyin, died 6 days later in hospital due to severe head injuries. Both men were arrested and convicted of murder, and sentenced to death in 2010. However, in May 2011, Kho's accomplice Galing won his appeal and was re-sentenced to 18 years and six months' imprisonment and 19 strokes of the cane. The allowing of Galing's appeal left Kho Jabing (who lost his appeal) the sole robber to hang for the murder of Cao Ruyin. After the government introduced the new death penalty laws in January 2013, Kho was re-sentenced to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane on 14 August 2013, becoming the second convicted murderer to escape the gallows. However, the prosecution appealed and on 14 January 2015, in a landmark ruling in Singapore's legal history, the death penalty was passed upon Kho again by a majority decision of 3-2 from the five-judge Court of Appeal, because the majority of the five judges felt that Kho had demonstrated viciousness and a blatant disregard for human life from his conduct at the time of the killing and the severity of Cao's injuries, which made the death penalty appropriate in Kho's case (the above two factors behind Kho's death sentence subsequently became the main guiding principles in the new death penalty laws for murder in Singapore). Together with another unnamed death row inmate (who was hanged at dawn), Kho was hanged to death in Changi Prison at 3.30 pm on the Friday afternoon of 20 May 2016, shortly after the dismissal of his final appeal on that morning itself.[106][107][108]
  • Bijukumar Remadevi Nair Gopinathan: On 15 March 2010, 34-year-old shipyard worker and Indian national Bijukumar Remadevi Nair Gopinathan murdered 30-year-old Filipino prostitute Roselyn Reyes Pascua by stabbing her multiple times in the chest, abdomen, neck and genital area. He even robbed the deceased of her handphone and cash amounting to $476.30. Gopinathan was arrested two days later and charged with murder. The following year, at the trial, Gopinathan put up the defence of sudden and grave provocation against the murder allegation, but it was rejected. Not just that, Justice Choo Han Teck determined in his judgement that Gopinathan had gone to Pascua's room with the intention of robbing and killing her. As such, the judge convict Gopinathan of murder under section 300(a) of the Penal Code (murder with intention to kill) and sentenced him to death on 26 March 2012.[109] Gopinathan filed an appeal, and in September 2012, the Court of Appeal determined that Gopinathan committed murder by intentionally inflicting fatal injuries on the victim but with no intention to cause death, hence they still found him guilty of murder, but under section 300(c) of the Penal Code. When changes to the mandatory death penalty took effect in 2013, Gopinathan's lawyer Shashi Nathan applied for re-sentencing and it was granted.[110] The case was remitted to the original trial judge for re-sentencing. On 28 August 2013, Gopinathan was re-sentenced to life imprisonment and 18 strokes of the cane, effectively becoming the third convicted murderer on death row to be spared the gallows. The prosecution did not object to this decision, though they ask for the maximum of 24 strokes of the cane to be imposed on Gopinathan in view of the violence he exhibited at the time of the murder, while the defence argued for 12 to 15 strokes of the cane.[111][112][113]
  • Kamrul Hasan Abdul Quddus: A Bangladeshi construction worker who murdered his Indonesian girlfriend Yulia Afriyanti and stuffed her body in a box before abandoning it on 16 December 2007. Kamrul Hasan was later arrested and tried for murder. In early 2010, Justice Kan Ting Chiu found him guilty of murder and sentenced him to death.[114] A year later, Kamrul Hasan also lost his appeal against the sentence.[115] Kamrul Hasan also filed an application to reopen his concluded appeal which was dismissed in March 2012. After the changes to the law took effect in 2013, Kamrul Hasan applied for re-sentencing and on 12 November 2013, the then-40-year-old was re-sentenced to life imprisonment and 10 strokes of the cane by Justice Choo Han Teck (who took over the task of re-sentencing due to Justice Kan's retirement since 2011). He became the fourth convicted murderer to escape the gallows. Similarly, like the case of Bijukumar Remadevi Nair Gopinathan, the prosecution did not object to the High Court's decision to spare Kamrul Hasan's life for his crime.[116][117] Kamrul Hasan later filed an appeal for a lighter punishment for his murder conviction, but it was turned down by the Court of Appeal in August 2014, because they could not further reduce his life sentence given that it was already the minimum penalty warranted for murder under the newly amended Penal Code.[118]
  • Wang Wenfeng: A Chinese national and odd-job worker from Fujian, China. During the early hours of the morning of 11 April 2009, out of desperation for money, 31-year-old Wang Wenfeng (王文锋) armed himself with a knife and prowled the streets, with plans to commit robbery. He boarded a taxi driven by 58-year-old taxi driver Yuen Swee Hong (袁水鸿), who spotted him and asked him where he wanted to go. After the taxi reached Jalan Selimang near Sembawang Park at Wang's instructions to the driver, Wang made his move and pointed the knife at Yuen directly from behind the driver's seat, threatening him to hand out his money. A struggle ensued, and Yuen was stabbed several times, bleeding heavily from his wounds. Upon seeing the driver's limp body, Wang panicked and quickly abandoned the body in a nearby forested area, with the assumption that the driver had died (but not without taking away the man's money and phone). He later abandoned the taxi in a carpark in Canberra Road and later on, called Yuen's wife Mdm Chan Oi Lin (with whom Yuen had a son and daughter), lying that he had kidnapped her husband and demanded a ransom from her. Not realising that her husband was dead, Chan contacted the police, and the police later managed to trace Wang and arrest him. Despite his initial denials of the crime, Wang finally confessed to the deed out of eventual guilt a few days after his arrest, and led the police to Yuen Swee Hong's highly decomposed body in the forest of Jalan Semilang. Wang, who was married with a daughter back in China, was charged with murder. Despite his insistence that he only intend to commit robbery and not to kill Yuen, his claim of remorse and difficult personal circumstances back in China, Justice Lee Seiu Kin convicted Wang of murder and sentenced him to death in September 2011, as he found that Wang had intended to cause the fatal injuries on Yuen and that he was remorseless about the killing as reflected from his conduct after the killing and his attempt to extort ransom from Yuen's family with disregards of prolonging their agony by making them falsely believe Yuen was still alive and that they can make him come back by paying him the ransom.[119] Wang also lost his appeal against the sentence.[120] However, when changes to the law took effect in 2013, Wang applied for re-sentencing and it was granted. On 13 November 2013, despite the urgings of the prosecution to re-sentence Wang to death, Justice Lee re-sentenced Wang to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane, on the grounds that Wang's only intention was to commit robbery and not murder, and that Yuen's death was caused during a struggle instead of a pre-meditated act of killing.[121][122][123] The prosecution filed an appeal against this decision, but eventually, in April 2015, they withdrew it in light of the outcome of the prosecution's appeal against Kho Jabing's life sentence.[124]

Drug traffickingEdit

  • Yong Vui Kong: On 12 June 2007, the 19-year-old Malaysian Yong Vui Kong (杨伟光) was arrested for transporting more than 47 grams of heroin from Malaysia to Singapore. Yong, who was a native of Sabah, Malaysia, was found guilty of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in November 2008. Although Yong lost his multiple appeals against the death sentence and also the failure of his petition for presidential pardon, however, when changes to the law took effect in 2013, where judges have discretion to sentence drug traffickers who only act as couriers or having fulfilled any other conditions, to life imprisonment with/without caning instead of death, Yong was granted re-sentencing, and on 14 November 2013, Yong was re-sentenced to life imprisonment and the minimum of 15 strokes of the cane; the life sentence was also backdated to the date when Yong was first charged.[125][38][126] Yong Vui Kong was the first drug trafficker on death row to be spared the gallows after changes in the law took effect. Later, Yong's lawyer M Ravi filed an appeal against Yong's caning sentence and argued that the caning was unconstitutional, but it was dismissed on 4 March 2015.[127]
  • Subashkaran Pragasam: In October 2008, 24-year-old Singaporean Subashkaran Pragasam was arrested and found to be carrying 9 packets of heroin, which weighed up to 186.62 g in total. Subashkaran was charged with drug trafficking, and in October 2012, he was convicted of drug trafficking and received the mandatory death penalty. However, when the death penalty was no longer mandatory to those drug offenders who only act as drug couriers or substantively assisted the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in the fight against drugs etc. from January 2013 onwards, Subashkaran applied for re-sentencing and on 6 January 2014, after he was certified by the prosecution to have fulfilled the above conditions, Subashkaran's death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane. Subashkaran Pragasam became the second convicted drug offender to be spared the gallows after Yong Vui Kong. In addition, Subashkaran's life sentence was ordered to commence from the date of his remand in November 2008.[38][128]
  • Dinesh Pillai Reja Retnam: On 19 December 2009, 26-year-old unemployed Malaysian Dinesh Pillai Reja Retnam, was paid RM200 to carry more than 19 grams of heroin across the Causeway. He was arrested and tried for drug trafficking. On 14 April 2011, Dinesh was found guilty and sentenced to death. He lost his appeal against his sentence, as well as a separate application to reopen his concluded appeal. However, when changes to the law took effect in 2013, where drug traffickers with mental illnesses which impaired their responsibility for the crime must be given a life term without caning, Dinesh applied for re-sentencing. A psychiatric report certified that Dinesh was suffering from depression as a result of his fiancée breaking off their engagement and himself losing his job as a waiter, and this led to him suffering from lapses in his judgement and emotional control, which made him "lamentably" accepting the task to traffick heroin into Singapore during one of these emotional lapses. Dinesh was also found to be suffering from some degree of organic damage to his brain during a medical examination. As a result, in March 2014, Dinesh was re-sentenced to life imprisonment; he was also spared the cane in view of his depression. Dinesh became the first drug trafficker to be given a life sentence on the grounds of diminished responsibility when committing the crime.[38][129]
  • Yip Mun Hei: A Singaporean who became the third drug trafficker to escape the gallows when he was re-sentenced to life imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane on 27 May 2014. The 42-year-old courier, who was arrested together with his accomplice on 18 January 2008 for trafficking at least 18.43g of heroin, was sentenced to death in September 2009 and subsequently stayed on death row for more than 4 years before his re-sentencing; Yip's 58-year-old accomplice Leong Soy Yip was similarly sentenced to death. Both men also lost their appeals against the death sentence during that period before Yip's re-sentencing. Reasons behind Yip's re-sentencing were that he acted as a courier and fully cooperated with and substantively assisted the authorities in tackling drug trafficking activities. It is not known whether Leong, like Yip, had also applied for re-sentencing; till now, his fate remains unknown.[38][130][131]
  • Wilkinson Primus: A 29-year-old Malaysian drug trafficker who was re-sentenced to imprisonment for life on 28 October 2014. Wilkinson, who was represented by prominent lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam, was arrested on 3 November 2008 at the Woodlands Checkpoint for carrying a bundle containing 35.66 g of heroin. He was tried in court and convicted of drug trafficking in 2009, and sentenced to be hanged to death. However, after the changes to the law in 2013, Wilkinson was given a reprieve with a life term because he was substantiated to be intellectually challenged and suffering from depression at the time of the crime, which impairs his mental responsibility at the time of the crime. He was also not subjected to caning on account of his illness.[132][133]
  • Cheong Chun Yin: A 31-year-old Malaysian drug courier who became the fourth drug trafficker to be re-sentenced to incarceration for life with 15 strokes of the cane on 20 April 2015 for trafficking in 2.726 kg of heroin from Myanmar to Singapore on 16 June 2008. He was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to death, and lost his appeal in October the same year. Cheong also made an application to reopen his concluded appeal which was dismissed in October 2012. Cheong was granted a reprieve because he was certified to be acting as courier and had substantively assisted the authorities to tackle drug trafficking activities in and outside Singapore. His boss and accomplice, 60-year-old Pang Siew Fum, was arrested on the same day and also sentenced to death for drug trafficking. Although she did not substantively assist the authorities in investigations like Cheong, Pang however, was also spared the death penalty and re-sentenced to life imprisonment on the same date as Cheong because she was found to be suffering from a mental illness at the time of the offence.[134]
  • Chijioke Stephen Obioha: A Nigerian drug trafficker who was caught trafficking 2,604.56g of cannabis into Singapore in April 2007. Obioha, who came to Singapore since 2005 at the age of 27, was sentenced to death on 30 December 2008, and lost his appeal in 2010, but his execution was among those put on hold when the government began to review the mandatory death penalty laws in Singapore. After the new death penalty laws took effect in 2013, Obioha filed for re-sentencing in May 2015, but for unknown reasons, he withdrew it in April 2016. Obioha later filed another appeal and a plea for clemency to seek a successful attempt to escape the gallows, but they were all met with failure; his appeal for a stay of execution was also dismissed. Eventually, on 18 November 2016, together with another drug trafficker, 31-year-old Malaysian Devendran A/L Supramaniam (who similarly exhausted all his avenues of appeal after receiving the death penalty on 29 July 2014 for importing more than 83g of diamorphine into Singapore), 38-year-old Chijioke Stephen Obioha was hanged to death in Changi Prison for his crime; both men were reportedly "accorded full due process under the law".[135]
  • Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam: A drug trafficker who was caught in April 2009 for trafficking in 42.72 g of diamorphine (pure heroin). The Malaysian admitted to the CNB officers that he knew he was carrying drugs and it was a friend (whom he called "King") who strapped it to his thigh so that no one would find it. He also gave various inconsistent accounts like King assaulting him and threatening to kill his girlfriend if he did not help him traffick the drugs; he did so out of misguided loyalty and he needed money. Nagaenthran was found guilty of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in November 2010. When the new death penalty laws took effect in January 2013, Nagaenthran applied for re-sentencing on account of clinical mental retardation and mental illness; however, as he was found to be suffering from neither of the above (even though his low IQ of 69 made him prone to believing King's supposed threat to murder his grilfriend), Nagaenthran was thus denied the chance to be re-sentenced. He was also not issued a certificate of substantive assistance by the CNB, since he did not substantively assist them in disrupting the drug trafficking activities. Nagaenthran later filed two separate appeals to challenge these two above decisions, but the five-judge Court of Appeal upheld the two decisions and dismissed Nagaenthran's appeals on 27 May 2019, condemning Nagaenthran to hang for his crime, as well as putting an end to his 9-year-long series of legal battles against the death penalty. Nagaenthran, now 32 years old, is currently appealing to the President of Singapore for clemency.[136][137]

Sentencing guidelines of the discretionary death penalty for murder (2015 – now)Edit

On 14 January 2015, a landmark ruling was made by the Court of Appeal in the prosecution's appeal against the re-sentencing case of one former death row inmate Kho Jabing, who was re-sentenced to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane for being guilty of murdering 40-year-old Chinese PRC citizen Cao Ruyin during a robbery under Section 300(c) of the Penal Code of Singapore. The landmark judgement of the rare five-judge Court of Appeal, in which the Court of Appeal, by a majority decision of 3–2, overturned Kho's life sentence and sentenced him to death a second time, had set the main guiding principles for all judges in Singapore to decide if the death penalty is appropriate for those murder cases committed with no intention to kill while exercising their discretion to impose either a life term or death for offenders responsible for such.[138]

The main guiding principles set were as such:

  1. Whether an offender displayed viciousness during the time of the commission of the offence of murder
  2. Whether an offender demonstrated a blatant disregard for human life at the time of the killing
  3. Whether the offender's actions sparked an outrage of the feelings of the community

In the above case of Kho Jabing, the majority three of the five judges were satisfied that Kho Jabing, who had used a tree branch to attack Cao and bashed his head repeatedly (which resulted into a completely shattered skull that caused Cao to die from a coma six days after the killing), had demonstrated both a blatant disregard for human life and viciousness while killing Cao Ruyin, and Kho's actions were such that it outraged the feelings of the community. Due to this, Kho was once again given the death penalty and he was eventually hanged on 20 May 2016.[107][108]

Consequently, the guiding principles from Kho Jabing's case also impacted on several subsequent murder cases and influenced the sentencing or appeal outcomes of these murder cases, which included the 2010 Kallang Slashings,[139][140] the Gardens by the Bay murder case,[141] the Circuit Road flat murder,[142][143] and the murder of Dexmon Chua Yizhi[144][145][146] etc.

List of death row inmates pardoned by the PresidentEdit

  • Mohamad Kunjo s/o Ramalan: On 25 May 1975, 54-year-old Mohamad Kunjo s/o Ramalan murdered his 54-year-old friend and lorry driver Arumugam Arunachalam by hitting him on the head with an exhaust pipe at Pulau Saigon Road. Mohamad Kunjo was later arrested and charged with murder. Both men were intoxicated at the time of the killing; forensic pathologist Dr Seah Han Cheow, who performed an autopsy on the body, discovered a high level of alcoholic content inside the victim's blood, leading him to raise a possibility of acute alcoholic poisoning that might have contributed to Arunachalam's death while testifying at the trial.[147] Mohamad Kunjo, who raised a defence of intoxication at the time of the commission of the offence, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death in 1976. After losing his appeals against the death sentence within the next two years, through his lawyer, Mohamad Kunjo filed for clemency in January 1978.[148] Two months later, on 26 March 1978, a Malay newspaper article reported that President Benjamin Sheares accepted the clemency petition, and as a result, Mohamad Kunjo's death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.[149] Mohamad Kunjo s/o Ramalan became the first person on death row in Singapore to be pardoned by the President and had his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.[150]
  • Bobby Chung Hua Watt: On 18 December 1975, after he was approached by his sister Patsy Chung to assist her to settle her unhappy marital issues, carpenter Bobby Chung Hua Watt (庄华发) went to his sister's flat in Chai Chee to resolve the issue with his sister's abusive and unfaithful husband Lim Hong Chee. However, this accelerated into a physical confrontation when Lim and his two brothers walked away with disrespect and contempt, and as a result, Chung has killed one of Lim's brothers Lim Hong Kai (林鸿凯). Chung was later arrested and charged with the murder of 23-year-old Lim Hong Kai. In November 1976, Bobby Chung, who was married with two young daughters before the crime, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. Chung later lost his appeal against the death sentence, and he was scheduled to be hanged on 18 January 1980. However, on 15 January 1980, 3 days before he was to be hanged for murdering Lim Hong Kai, Chung, then 26 years old, received news that his petition to President Benjamin Sheares for clemency was accepted, and as a result, the mandatory death sentence passed upon Chung was commuted to life imprisonment, effectively making Chung the second death row inmate in Singapore to be granted clemency by the President after Mohamad Kunjo s/o Ramalan in March 1978. After serving at least two-thirds (13 years and 4 months) of his life sentence with good behaviour, Bobby Chung was released from prison in May 1993 (under Singapore law, if a prisoner maintains good conduct while in prison, he/she will be granted an early release after serving at least two-thirds of his/her sentence).[151][152][153]
  • Siti Aminah binte Jaffar: On 6 May 1977, Siti Aminah binte Jaffar, 18, a former barmaid and her 25-year-old lover Anwar Ali Khan was caught for trafficking 43.5 g of diamorphine (pure heroin), which exceeds the mandatory death penalty of 15 g. Both were eventually sentenced to death in August 1978. Anwar was hanged in 1983 after President Devan Nair rejected his plea of clemency. Siti was spared with the death penalty and placed her under life imprisonment after President Devan accepted her plea of clemency. Siti became the first woman about to be sentenced to death for drug trafficking, but spared due to an accepted plea of clemency.[154][155][150]
  • Sim Ah Cheoh: On 26 April 1985, housewife Sim Ah Cheoh (沈亚彩) was arrested together with her two accomplices 30-year-old Ronald Tan Chong Ngee (alias Ah Aw) and 31-year-old Lim Joo Yin (alias Ah Hai), for transporting 1.37 kg of heroin in a taxi from Hotel Negara in Claymore Drive to Changi Airport. All were charged with drug trafficking and transportation of drugs. Sim, a single mother with two sons, was said to have led a difficult life full of poverty and tragedy (including being orphaned at age three after her mother's death).[156] She accepted the job to transport the drugs to United States out of desperation for money to pay her debts.[157] 3 years later, on 30 July 1988, all three were convicted of drug trafficking and transporting drugs, and sentenced to death.[158][159] After spending 4 years on death row, on 25 March 1992, Sim Ah Cheoh was granted clemency by President Wee Kim Wee and had her death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.[160] Her two accomplices Lim and Tan were hanged on 3 April 1992.[161] A year later, while she was serving her life sentence, Sim fell ill in June 1993 and was later diagnosed with cervical cancer in November 1993. Two years later, when she was diagnosed to have only at most one year left to live, Sim once again petitioned for clemency, this time to President Ong Teng Cheong (who started his term as president on 1 September 1993 after Mr Wee Kim Wee's retirement), asking to be released so that she can be taken care of by her family and spend the final moments of her life with her two sons and relatives. The clemency petition was granted and Sim Ah Cheoh was freed from prison on 16 February 1995.[162][163] 6 weeks after her release from prison, on 30 March 1995, death has brought an end to 50-year-old Sim Ah Cheoh's sufferings from cancer, as well as an end to her 50-year-long miserable and poverty-stricken life.[164][153]
  • Koh Swee Beng: On 16 February 1988, upon hearing that his elderly foster father Tan Ai Soon was severely assaulted, the angered 22-year-old Koh Swee Beng (许瑞明) gathered 5 people – Tan's 3 sons Tan Eng Chye (who was Koh's sworn brother), Tan Eng Poh and Tan Eng Geok; the Tan brothers' brother-in-law Ng Eng Guan; and their friend Ong Hong Thor – to confront 31-year-old Tay Kim Teck, the man who assaulted the elder Tan. They then chased the man and beat him up. During the beating, Koh, who was armed with a knife, stabbed Tay 5 times; among these stab wounds, two of them were fatal, leading to Tay's death within minutes. All were later arrested and charged with murder; however, only Koh was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death on 20 April 1990, while the other five had their charges reduced to rioting and they were each sentenced to 2 years' imprisonment and 4 strokes of the cane. Although he lost his appeal against the death sentence in September 1991, Koh Swee Beng was eventually granted clemency by the President of Singapore Mr Wee Kim Wee on 13 May 1992 (two days before his execution) and had his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment. Koh was released from prison in September 2005 after serving at least two-thirds of his life sentence due to good behaviour.[165][153]
  • Mathavakannan s/o Kalimuthu: On 26 May 1996, exactly 16 days after celebrating his 18th birthday, 18-year-old Mathavakannan s/o Kalimuthu, together with his two older friends, 23-year-old Asogan Ramesh s/o Ramachandren and 24-year-old Selvar Kumar Silvaras, assaulted and murdered 25-year-old Saravanan Michael Ramalingam, a secret society gangster whom Asogan had previous conflicts with. On 27 November of that same year, all three were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. After losing their appeals against the death sentence on 14 October 1997, all three petitioned to Mr Ong Teng Cheong, then President of Singapore, for clemency on 13 January 1998. However, both Asogan and Selvar had their petitions denied and they were subsequently hanged for the murder, while only Mathavakannan's plea for clemency was accepted by Mr Ong on 28 April 1998. As a result of being pardoned by the President, Mathavakannan, then 19 years of age, was spared the gallows and his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Even though he was pardoned by the president after the landmark judgement of Abdul Nasir bin Amer Hamsah's appeal on 20 August 1997, High Court judge Lee Seiu Kin ruled in January 2012 that Mathavakannan's life term should be considered as a 20-year prison term instead of a term of imprisonment for his remainder of his natural lifespan (the current interpretation of life imprisonment under Singapore law) since he committed the offence before 20 August 1997, after Mathavakannan's original lawyer Subhas Anandan filed an appeal regarding the true legitimate length of his client's life sentence and challenging the claims of the Attorney General's definition of Mathavakannan's life term as the said penalty's current legal interpretation. Soon after the conclusion of his appeal, Mathavakannan was released after spending a total of around 16 years behind bars, including 13 years and 4 months out of his 20-year-long life sentence due to good behaviour.[166][167][168]

Since 1990sEdit

Executions peaked under Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong; the city-state had the second highest per-capita execution rate in the world between 1994 and 1998, estimated by the United Nations to be 13.83 executions annually per one million people during that period.[169] The highest was Turkmenistan with 14.92. Since then, execution has become far less common, with some years having no executions at all. For example, no one was executed in 2012 and 2013, and two persons were executed in 2014. Nevertheless, in recent years, executions have started to increase again: in 2018, 13 people were executed, the most since at least 2003.[170] and 4 people (including two unreported executions) were hanged in 2019. No one has been executed from the start of 2020 to August 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore. There is originally two executions scheduled for drug traffickers Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin (aged 44) and Moad Fadzir bin Mustaffa (aged 41) on 18 September 2020 and 24 September 2020 respectively, but they were subsequently postponed due to stay of executions granted pending last-minute appeals against the death sentences.[171][172]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kho Jabing executed at 3.30pm, first execution in Singapore not carried out at dawn of Friday". The Online Citizen. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b Ho, Peng Kee, Singapore Parliamentary Reports, 11th Parliament, Session 1, Volume 83, 23 October 2007.
  3. ^ Chen, Sharon (14 November 2012). "Singapore Amends Death Penalty Law to Exempt Some Offences". Bloomberg. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Singapore: The death penalty - A hidden toll of executions" (PDF). Amnesty International. 14 January 2004. Retrieved 29 December 2007. Amnesty International recognizes the need to combat drug trafficking, and the harm that illicit drugs can cause. However there is no convincing evidence that the death penalty deters would-be traffickers more effectively than other punishments; Amnesty International is gravely concerned that such presumptions erode the right to a fair trial, increasing the risk that an innocent person may be executed, particularly as the law provides for a mandatory death sentence; Amnesty International opposes the death penalty worldwide in all cases without exception; Relatives have informed Amnesty International that prisoners under sentence of death are kept in strict isolation in individual cells measuring approximately three square meters. The cells are thought to have walls on three sides, with bars on the remaining side. Cells are sparse, furnished only with a toilet and a mat for sleeping, but no bedding. Inmates are allowed the use of a bucket for washing; They may receive one 20-minute visit per week in a special area where they are separated from visitors by a thick pane of glass and have to communicate via a telephone. About four days before the execution date, as a special concession, prisoners are permitted to watch television or listen to the radio and are given meals of their choice, within the prison's budget. They are also allowed extra visits from relatives but no physical contact is permitted at any time before the execution; In July 2001 then parliamentarian and prominent human rights campaigner, J.B. Jeyaretnam, called for a parliamentary debate about the case of a drug user who was facing execution, urging the Cabinet to consider various aspects of the case during examination of his clemency appeal. J.B. Jeyaretnam was given just a few minutes to speak before his arguments were rebutted by the Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs.
  5. ^ a b c d "Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)". www.mha.gov.sg. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Prisons Annual Report 2011 Part 4" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Singapore court rejects death-row Malaysian's appeal". Agence France-Presse. 4 April 2012 – via Yahoo News. According to official figures, there were four executions in 2011, two of them for drug-related offences
  8. ^ a b c "Massive leap backwards as Singapore resumes executions". Amnesty International. 18 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Malaysian, Nigerian men hanged in Singapore for drug trafficking". NST Online. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Enhancing Inmates' Employability to Prevent Re-offending" (PDF) (Press release). Singapore Prison Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Hanged because he had not "substantively assisted" the CNB". publichouse.sg. 21 April 2017. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Singaporean drug trafficker executed at Changi Prison for heroin offence". The Straits Times. 19 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Singapore executes Malaysian for drug trafficking". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 21 October 2017.[dead link]
  14. ^ a b https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/ACT5079552018ENGLISH.PDF
  15. ^ "Singapore: Ghanaian Drug Trafficker Hanged after Clemency Plea Rejected". Ghana Guardian. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018 – via www.handsoffcain.info.
  16. ^ "Singapore: Drug Trafficker Hanged after Last-ditch Bid to Reopen Case Fails". handsoffcain.info. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Executions worldwide this month". www.capitalpunishmentuk.org.
  18. ^ "The Death Penalty in Singapore". Death Penalty Worldwide.
  19. ^ https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Amnesty-Death-Sentences-and-Executions-2019.pdf
  20. ^ "More people executed in Singapore". The Age. Melbourne. Agence France-Presse. 25 September 2003. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  21. ^ Shadrake, Alan (28 October 2005). "Nguyen executioner revealed". The Australian. Surry Hills, NSW, Australia: News Limited. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2007. Mr Singh joined the British colonial prison service in the mid-1950s after arriving from Malaysia. When the long-established British hangman Mr Seymour retired, Singh, then 27, volunteered for the job. He was attracted by the bonus payment for executions. Mr Singh is credited with being the only executioner in the world to single-handedly hang 18 men in one day -- three at a time. They had been convicted of murdering four prison officers during a riot on the penal island of Pulau Senang in 1963. He also hanged seven condemned men within 90 minutes a few years later. They had been convicted in what became known as the "gold bars murders", in which a merchant and two employees were killed during a robbery. One of the most controversial executions in his career was the 1991 hanging of a young Filipina maid, Flor Contemplacion, who was convicted of the murder of a co-worker, Delia Maga, and her four-year-old son, on what many believed was shaky evidence. He carries out the executions wearing simple casual clothes, often just a T-shirt, shorts, sports shoes and knee-length socks. To mark his 500th hanging four years ago, four of his former colleagues turned up at his home to celebrate the event with a couple of bottles of Dom Perignon. Mr Singh boasts that he has never botched an execution. "Mr Seymour taught him just how long the drop should be according to weight and height and exactly where the knot should be placed at the back of the neck," his colleague said. "Death has always come instantaneously and painlessly. In that split second, at precisely 6 am, it's all over."
  22. ^ "The Singapore Government's Response To Amnesty International's Report "Singapore - The Death Penalty: A Hidden Toll of Executions"". Ministry of Home Affairs. 30 January 2004. Archived from the original on 25 January 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2013. Contrary to AI's claims, Singaporeans, not foreigners, were the majority of those executed in Singapore. From 1993 to 2003, 64% of those executed were Singaporeans. In the last five years, 73% executed were Singaporeans. Given that one in four residents in Singapore is a foreigner, it is not only false but mischievous to allege that a significant proportion of prisoners executed were foreigners; Although family members are not with the inmate at the moment of execution, they are informed four days before the executions (for foreigners, the families and embassy will be informed earlier, usually seven to fourteen days) and allowed daily visits lasting up to four hours for each visit during these four days. The execution is carried out in the presence of a Prison medical doctor. Upon request, a priest or a religious minister is allowed to be present, to pray for the person to be executed; Our prison conditions are spartan but adequate. Visiting Justices, who are prominent members of the community, conduct regular unannounced visits to the prison institutions to make sure that prisoners, including those on death row, are not ill-treated. It is not true that prisoners are not allowed to exercise. All prisoners, including condemned prisoners, are entitled to their daily exercises. In fact, there are two exercise yards dedicated for this use. They are normally allowed to exercise twice a day, half an hour each time, one or two at a time.
  23. ^ Cap. 68, 1985 Rev. Ed.
  24. ^ "Singapore stands by hanging". 21 November 2005. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  25. ^ "True Files S1". meWATCH. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  26. ^ "True Files S3". meWATCH. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  27. ^ "True Files S5". meWATCH. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  28. ^ "True Files S5". meWATCH. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  29. ^ "True Files S5". meWATCH. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  30. ^ "True Files S3". meWATCH. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  31. ^ True Files S3 - EP7: The Tooth Fragment. Channel 5. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2020 – via meWATCH.
  32. ^ The Best I Could S1 - EP5 The Missing Tooth. Channel 5. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2020 – via meWATCH.
  33. ^ a b "Man jailed for 6 years acquitted of murder charges". Yahoo!News. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  34. ^ Lin, Melissa (17 April 2015). "Convicted killer executed after final plea failed". The Straits Times. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  35. ^ Rita Zahara (29 December 2006). "19 murders in first 11 months of 2006, one more than same period in 2005". Channel NewsAsia.
  36. ^ K.C. Vijayan (13 December 2018). "Teen who killed Anthony Ler's wife gets clemency after 17 years in jail". The Straits Times.
  37. ^ True Files S3 - EP6: Death on Pulau Ubin. Channel 5. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2020 – via meWATCH.
  38. ^ a b c d e f g Abu Baker, Jalelah (16 January 2015). "Murderer fails to escape the gallows: 6 other cases involving the revised death penalty laws". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  39. ^ a b c d e "The Singapore Government's Response To Amnesty International's Report "Singapore - The Death Penalty: A Hidden Toll of Executions"". Ministry of Home Affairs. 30 January 2004. Archived from the original on 25 January 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2013. Contrary to AI's claims, Singaporeans, not foreigners, were the majority of those executed in Singapore. From 1993 to 2003, 64% of those executed were Singaporeans. In the last five years, 73% executed were Singaporeans. Given that one in four residents in Singapore is a foreigner, it is not only false but mischievous to allege that a significant proportion of prisoners executed were foreigners; Although family members are not with the inmate at the moment of execution, they are informed four days before the executions (for foreigners, the families and embassy will be informed earlier, usually seven to fourteen days) and allowed daily visits lasting up to four hours for each visit during these four days. The execution is carried out in the presence of a Prison medical doctor. Upon request, a priest or a religious minister is allowed to be present, to pray for the person to be executed; Our prison conditions are spartan but adequate. Visiting Justices, who are prominent members of the community, conduct regular unannounced visits to the prison institutions to make sure that prisoners, including those on death row, are not ill-treated. It is not true that prisoners are not allowed to exercise. All prisoners, including condemned prisoners, are entitled to their daily exercises. In fact, there are two exercise yards dedicated for this use. They are normally allowed to exercise twice a day, half an hour each time, one or two at a time.
  40. ^ "Singapore Death Penalty Shrouded in Silence". Reuters. 12 April 2002. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  41. ^ Cap. 224, 1985 Rev. Ed.
  42. ^ "Singapore Statutes Online - Results". statutes.agc.gov.sg. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  43. ^ Cap. 14, 1998 Rev. Ed.
  44. ^ Cap. 185, 2001 Rev. Ed.
  45. ^ Second Schedule - Offences Punishable on Conviction
  46. ^ "Results on Poll: Would you support a total abolishment of the death sentence?". Five Stars And a Moon. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  47. ^ James Goyder (23 May 2011). "Drug Addiction and Rehabilitation in Draconian Singapore". The Independent. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  48. ^ "Singapore". The Global SMART programme. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  49. ^ Cap. 143, 1985 Rev. Ed.
  50. ^ Cap. 151, 1999 Rev. Ed.
  51. ^ Baradan Kuppusamy (3 December 2007). "Death Penalty-Singapore: Stand at UN Leaves Many Angered". Inter Press Service. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007.
  52. ^ Tan Kong Soon (19 July 2001). "Death Penalty Case Gets an Airing in Parliament". Think Centre. The Parliamentary session of 11 July 2001 saw a veteran politician broach the issue of clemency for a death row-bound, Malay male convicted of drugs trafficking; Within the span of allocated time, JBJ managed to raise only three points of the clemency plea before interrupted by the Speaker of the House; Rising to reply JBJ's tirades was the Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee.
  53. ^ a b Aglionby, John (8 May 2005). "Singapore finally finds a voice in death row protest". The Observer. London. Retrieved 30 December 2007. Murugesu, 38, a former jet ski champion, military veteran and civil servant, was arrested in August 2003 after six packets containing a total of just over a kilo of cannabis were found in his bags when he returned home after a trip to Malaysia. He admitted to knowing about one of the packets, containing 300 g, but nothing about the others; The government clearly does not want the campaign gathering momentum. The partially state-owned local media ignored the vigil and the police shut down the open mike session just as the first person was getting into his stride.
  54. ^ "IR Legislation; Death Row in Singapore". The Law Report. Melbourne: ABC Radio National. 8 November 2005. Retrieved 30 December 2007. [...] he was caught for one kilogram of cannabis which is what he was charged for, although he admitted only one packet.
  55. ^ Martin Abbugao (AFP) (16 May 2005). "Singapore anti-death penalty fight lives on". The Standard. Hong Kong. Archived from the original on 21 January 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2007. In an example of the extent authorities still monitor dissenters, an "open mike session" at the vigil in which the audience was invited to speak was abruptly ended just after the first speaker began to talk. Organizers said plainclothes police officers stepped in and asked them to scrap that portion of the program. The death row is about a couple weeks long, and only one appeal is permitted
  56. ^ Butcher, Steve (4 December 2005). "End death penalty: Singapore nun". The Age. Melbourne.
  57. ^ Gibson, William (September 1993). "Disneyland with the Death Penalty". Wired.
  58. ^ England, Vaudine (20 July 2010). "British death penalty author freed on bail in Singapore". BBC News. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  59. ^ "British author of death penalty book held in Singapore". BBC News. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  60. ^ British author jailed for contempt by Singapore court, The Guardian, 16 November 2010
  61. ^ "British author Alan Shadrake jailed in Singapore". The Telegraph. London. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  62. ^ Guardian, as above
  63. ^ Shadrake v. Attorney-General [2011] SGCA 26, [2011] 3 S.L.R. 778, Court of Appeal (Singapore)
  64. ^ Ansley Ng (13 January 2006). "Singapore's Law Society to give death penalty a fair airing". Today.
  65. ^ Extract of the Council's Report on the proposed Penal Code Amendments submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, 30 March 2007, lawsociety.org Archived 16 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  66. ^ "Drug trafficking 'deserves death penalty': Singapore PM". ABC News Online. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  67. ^ Deen, Thalif (1 November 2007). "Death Penalty Threatens to Split World Body". Asian Tribune. Retrieved 30 December 2007.
  68. ^ Yuen-C, Tham (5 October 2020). "Parliament: Statistics, studies show death penalty deterred drug trafficking, firearms use and kidnapping, says Shanmugam". The Straits Times. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  69. ^ Jill Colvin (26 March 2012). "U.S. Could Learn From Singapore's Harsh Drug Laws, Bloomberg Says". DNAinfo New York. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012.
  70. ^ Zaid Jilani (29 November 2011). "Gingrich Praises Singapore's 'Very Draconian' Laws That Mandate Executions For Drug Possession". Archived from the original on 2 June 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  71. ^ Cornelius-Takahama, Vernon (2001). "Pulau Senang". National Library Board, Singapore. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  72. ^ "True Files S3". meWATCH. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  73. ^ "Guilty As Charged: Seven who killed for 120 gold bars hanged". The Straits Times. Singapore. 16 May 2016. Archived from the original on 16 May 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  74. ^ Tok, Cherylyn. "Gold Bar Murders". Infopedia. National Library Board, Singapore. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  75. ^ "True Files S1". meWATCH. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  76. ^ "True Files S1". meWATCH. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  77. ^ "Guilty As Charged: Three friends who wanted to become robbers killed 2 men to get a gun". The Straits Times. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  78. ^ "True Files S2". Toggle. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  79. ^ Jalelah, Abu Baker (15 May 2016). "Guilty As Charged: Serial murderer Sek Kim Wah found it 'thrilling' to strangle victims". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 16 February 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  80. ^ True Files S2 - EP6: Jealousy knows no limit. Channel 5. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2020 – via meWATCH.
  81. ^ "Guilty As Charged: Anthony Ler lured teen into killing his wife". Newsmine. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  82. ^ Hussain, Amir (18 May 2016). "Guilty As Charged: Man dunked stepdaughter Nonoi, 2, in pail of water, killing her". Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  83. ^ "Singapore hangs Sarawakian Michael Garing". MSN. Retrieved 22 March 2019.[dead link]
  84. ^ "Sarawakian Michael Garing executed at Changi Prison". Malay Mail. 22 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  85. ^ Lum, Selina; Lee, Min Kok (4 December 2015). "Kovan double murder: Iskandar found guilty of murder of both victims, sentenced to hang". The Straits Times. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  86. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Iskandar bin Rahmat" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  87. ^ John Aglionby (8 May 2005). "Singapore finally finds a voice in death row protest". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  88. ^ "Man's murder conviction reduced to culpable homicide". AsiaOne. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  89. ^ The Best I Could S2. Love vs Hate. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2020 – via meWATCH.
  90. ^ "Yishun triple killer to hang". The Star. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  91. ^ "Guilty As Charged: Man murders lover, her daughter and flatmate after quarrel over money for crab". The Straits Times. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  92. ^ a b c Xing Hui, Kok (19 July 2014). "Two hanged after forsaking chance to escape gallows". Today Singapore. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  93. ^ Lum, Selina (11 April 2013). "Drug courier spared the death penalty". The Straits Times. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  94. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Abdul Haleem bin Abdul Karim and another" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  95. ^ Vijayan, K. C. (20 May 2017). "Drug trafficker hanged after exhausting avenues of appeal". The Straits Times. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  96. ^ Louisa Tang (30 November 2018). "The Big Read: Capital punishment – a little more conversation on a matter of life and death". Today Singapore. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  97. ^ Imelda Saad; S Ramesh (9 July 2012). "Singapore completes review of mandatory death penalty". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  98. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Ismil Bin Kadar and Another" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  99. ^ "Muhammad bin Kadar and Another v Public Prosecutor" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  100. ^ "Muhammad bin Kadar v Public Prosecutor" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  101. ^ Vijayan, K. C. (17 April 2015). "Killer faces gallows after final plea fails". The Straits Times. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  102. ^ Lin, Melissa (17 April 2015). "Convicted killer executed after final plea failed". The Straits Times. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  103. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Ellarry Bin Puling and Another" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  104. ^ "Singapore canings for March 2012". Corpun. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  105. ^ Neo Chai Chin (16 July 2013). "Murderer given life term under amended laws". Today Singapore. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  106. ^ "Murderer back on death row after landmark ruling". AsiaOne. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  107. ^ a b Abu Baker, Jalelah (16 January 2015). "Murderer fails to escape the gallows: 6 other cases involving the revised death penalty laws". The Straits Times. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  108. ^ a b "Kho Jabing hanged after bid to defer execution fails, lawyers receive ticking-off from court". Today Singapore. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  109. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Nair Gopinathan Bijukumar Remadevi" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  110. ^ Lum, Selina (1 May 2013). "Two death row cases sent back for review". The Straits Times. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  111. ^ Poh, Ian (28 August 2013). "Convicted murderer escapes the gallows; third such case in Singapore after changes in law". The Straits Times. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  112. ^ "Murderer gets life in jail after changes in law". AsiaOne. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  113. ^ Lee, Amanda (29 August 2013). "Man convicted of murder to serve life sentence". Today Singapore. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  114. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Kamrul Hasan Abdul Quddus" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  115. ^ "Kamrul Hasan Abdul Quddus v Public Prosecutor" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  116. ^ Lum, Selina (12 November 2013). "Bangladeshi escapes death penalty for girlfriend's murder". The Straits Times. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  117. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Kamrul Hasan Abdul Quddus" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  118. ^ Lee, Amanda (29 August 2013). "Foreign worker loses appeal against life sentence for murder". Today Singapore. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  119. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Wang Wenfeng (2011)" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  120. ^ "Wang Wenfeng v Public Prosecutor" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  121. ^ Lee, Amanda (14 November 2013). "Man spared the gallows despite killing cabbie". Today. Singapore. Archived from the original on 29 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  122. ^ "Guilty As Charged: Man stabs taxi driver to death during robbery attempt, then demands ransom". The Straits Times. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  123. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Wang Wenfeng (2014)" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  124. ^ Lum, Selina (20 April 2015). "Murderer escapes death after prosecution drops appeal". The Straits Times. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  125. ^ Lum, Selina (14 November 2013). "Malaysian is first condemned drug trafficker to be spared the gallows following new law". The Straits Times. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  126. ^ "Drug courier spared the gallows". AsiaOne. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  127. ^ Lum, Selina (4 March 2015). "Caning is constitutional, Court of Appeal rules in drug trafficker's case". The Straits Times. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  128. ^ Lee, Amanda (6 January 2014). "Second drug trafficker on death row escapes gallows". Today Singapore. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  129. ^ Poh, Ian (3 March 2014). "Drug trafficker on death row gets life sentence instead, in first case involving depression". The Straits Times. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  130. ^ Lum, Selina (27 May 2014). "Drug trafficker on death row spared gallows". The Straits Times. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  131. ^ Chia, Ashley (27 May 2014). "Singaporean drug courier spared death penalty". Today Singapore. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  132. ^ Lum, Selina (28 October 2014). "Malaysian drug trafficker escapes death penalty under amended laws". The Straits Times. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  133. ^ "He gives hope to those on death row". The New Paper. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  134. ^ Pei Shan, Hoe (21 April 2015). "2 death row traffickers get life term instead". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  135. ^ Boh, Samantha (18 November 2016). "Two drug traffickers hanged for their offences". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  136. ^ Lam, Lydia (27 May 2019). "Apex Court dismisses appeals by Malaysian man on death row for 9 years for importing drugs". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  137. ^ "Apex Court dismisses appeals by Malaysian man on death row for 9 years for importing drugs". Today Singapore. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  138. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Kho Jabing (2015)" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  139. ^ "Kallang slashing: Apex court upholds death penalty, life sentence for duo". Today Singapore. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  140. ^ "Kallang slasher hanged after clemency bid fails". The Straits Times. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  141. ^ Lum, Selina (19 August 2019). "Gardens by the Bay murder trial: Leslie Khoo sentenced to life imprisonment for killing lover, burning her body". The Straits Times. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  142. ^ Lum, Selina (8 February 2020). "Circuit Road murder: Man, 51, gets life sentence for strangling nurse". The Straits Times. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  143. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Boh Soon Ho" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  144. ^ Lum, Selina (27 June 2018). "Businessman who murdered wife's ex-lover sentenced to death upon prosecution's appeal". The Straits Times. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  145. ^ "Public Prosecutor v Chia Kee Chen and Chia Kee Chen v Public Prosecutor" (PDF). Supreme Court Judgements. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  146. ^ "【林厝港弃尸案】商人改判死刑 死者父母:终于为儿讨公道". 联合早报 (in Chinese). 28 June 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  147. ^ "Murder Trial Continues Today". The Straits Times. 10 February 1976. p. 9. Retrieved 7 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  148. ^ "Clemency plea to Sheares by man sentenced to die". The Straits Times. 6 January 1978. p. 13. Retrieved 7 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  149. ^ "Presiden ringankan hukum mati Kunjo". Berita Harian (in Malay). 23 March 1978. p. 8. Retrieved 7 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  150. ^ a b "这11人在新加坡犯了滔天大罪也能有退路". 红蚂蚁 (in Chinese). 3 January 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  151. ^ Gloria Chan (16 January 1980). "President grants plea for clemency". The Straits Times. p. 1. Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  152. ^ Gloria Chan (29 January 1980). "'Rousing send-off' for ex-death row man". The Straits Tiimes. p. 11. Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  153. ^ a b c "这11人在新加坡犯了滔天大罪也能有退路". 红蚂蚁 (in Chinese). 3 January 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  154. ^ "Drugs woman told she will not hang". The Straits Times. 19 February 1983. p. 9. Archived from the original on 29 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  155. ^ "Drug trafficker was given second chance but she blew it". The Straits Times. 20 November 2001. Retrieved 26 May 2020 – via Facebook.
  156. ^ "No marriage, no family, no love". The New Paper. 16 February 1995. p. 9. Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  157. ^ "Housewife recruited to smuggle heroin into US, court told". The Straits Times. 8 July 1988. p. 40. Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  158. ^ "Mother of two faces death penalty for drug trafficking". The Straits Times. 6 July 1988. p. 30. Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  159. ^ "Housewife and 2 men to hang for drug trafficking". The Straits Times. 30 July 1988. p. 43. Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  160. ^ "Mum saved from the gallows". The Straits Times. 25 March 1992. p. 2. Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  161. ^ "2 hanged for helping to traffick in 1.3 kg of heroin". The Straits Times. 4 April 1992. p. 25. Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  162. ^ "Cancer-stricken, dying drug trafficker pardoned and freed". The Straits Times. 17 February 1995. p. 30. Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  163. ^ "Free But Still Racing Death". The New Paper. 16 February 1995. p. 8. Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  164. ^ "Cancer pardon woman dies". Retrieved 8 June 2020 – via National Library Board.
  165. ^ True Files S2 - EP13: The Story of Koh Swee Beng. Channel 5. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2020 – via meWATCH.
  166. ^ "From death sentence to life in prison to freedom". AsiaOne. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  167. ^ "Man serving life sentence to be released". Today. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2020 – via VR-Zone Forums.
  168. ^ "Mathavakannan s/o Kalimuthu v Attorney-General [2012] SGHC 39" (PDF). 27 February 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2020 – via Singapore Law Watch.
  169. ^ "para 68 UNODC.org (page 18)" (PDF).
  170. ^ "The Death Penalty in Singapore". www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  171. ^ "Reprieve for drug trafficking convict sentenced to die on Sept 18". The Independent. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  172. ^ "President To Grant Drug Trafficker Moad Fadzir Respite From Execution, Says His Lawyer M. Ravi". The Independent. Retrieved 19 September 2020.

External linksEdit