I think Mr Shan the Law and Foreign Affairs minister is dumb to say that the death penalty is a deterrence in the war on drugs. This kind of comment how to defend or quantify? He was a former lawyer some more. This type of comment is as dumb as those lefty softy wussies who say the death penalty is NOT a deterrence in crime. Facepalm.
The death penalty should not be mandatory for drug cases. That one I support Mr Shan all the way up to the mountain and down again. The death penalty should be kept still despite all the whining about death penalty is so barbaric. This one I also support Shan-Shan. However, whether the death penalty is deterrence or not depends. In fact, whether the death penalty is a deterrence, it is sure a question of extent and not yes-no. The death penalty should be approached as more accurately retribution in the justice system, and horrible punishment for horrible crime, not deterrence.
Drug cases should not be 100% capital punishment - it depends on the facts. If it is a drug lord monkey, gallows as retribution would get XXX votes like in America's Got Talent - you think Simon Cowell would vote against death penalty? You want to give these Golden Triangle criminals another chance? If it is poor drug donkey, ok can skip the gallows if there are pitiful circumstances like if the person don't carry drugs to pay off his housing and gambling debts, his younger brother, sister and golden retriever would be forced into prostitution and make XXX movies. Similarly, in murder cases where there is cold calculation like those psychos in the TV show Criminal Minds, to the gallows! In berserk killing rage between lovers, then gallows might not be just retribution.
Nothing can stop those from doing heinous crime if they are so desperate or diabolical. Tough laws and punishments just make some criminals very careful about being caught, rather than frighten them away from crime. Still, cannot deny that tough laws scare people. If there is a law that says if we don't use a parking coupon in URA car parks, and instead of getting fine, LTA chops off our hands, I will definitely put a parking coupon when I eat prata at Casuarina! Why risk my hand? But the real point of law is not about making would-be offenders in drugs, murder or theft scared or not, it is about punishing them justly or not. Ergo, eating prata, no parking coupon and hand-chopping.
So Shan should screw that rhetoric about capital punishment deterring people and a thumbs up for the war on drugs, and stick to "Keep death penalty still for certain crimes but not mandatory, song boh".
Updated 09:26 PM Nov 14, 2012SINGAPORE - The mandatory death penalty will not be imposed for all murder cases , under amendments to the Penal Code which were passed in Parliament today. Where the killing is not intentional, the court will now be able to decide if the accused should be given the death sentence or life imprisonment. All existing cases, if eligible, will be considered for re-sentencing under the new law.
Opposition Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC Sylvia Lim asked if the mandatory death penalty should apply even when there was an intention to kill. As an example, she highlighted the difference between a hired contract killer and an accused who was unable to get over a serious, long-time betrayal of a marriage partner.
Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam responded: "But the fact is even in the latter situation, it is deliberate, cold-blooded, intentional killing. Because if it is not cold-blooded and intentional, if it is on the spur on moment, there is a defence, Ms Lim knows that - if there is provocation. There are other defences as well, self-defence, provocation."
Take away death penalty and weaken war against drugs: Shanmugam
Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012
SINGAPORE - Capital punishment has worked to deter drug traffickers from Singapore and should be used as a continuing punishment for drug offenders here, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said in Parliament on Wednesday.
Mr Shanmugam said that fear of hanging has kept drug offenders at bay and drug prices high.
The number of drug abusers caught in Singapore has also fallen since the 1990s, he said.
The Minister was speaking in response to questions posed by 16 MPs on amendments made to the Misuse of Drugs Act.
A Bill on changes to be made to the act states that the death penalty will no longer apply if two "specific, tightly-defined conditions" are met.
To those MPs who asked that judges be given even more discretion in death penalty cases, Mr Shanmugam warned that the death sentence could be abolished in practice, if judges are given more discretion in death penalty cases.
He also asked if Singapore was ready to accept the risks of weakening the death penalty.
Mr Shanmugam added that the "substantial assistance" condition, which allows offenders to avoid the death penalty upon cooperation with investigators, is needed to help authorities nab the real masterminds of drug syndicates.