The death penalty for drug offences in Singapore should be abolished
Under Singapore's Misuse of Drugs Act, the death penalty for drug trafficking is mandatory. In 2004, Amnesty International released a report saying that Singapore has the highest execution rate per capita in the world, and that many who have been executed were hanged for drug offences. Anti-death penalty campaigners have long called for the abolishment of the death penalty in Singapore, especially for drug offences.
The Singapore government, however, has resisted calls to abolish the death penalty, and often claim that the mandatory death penalty for drug offences is a necessary deterrence, and a "trade-off" to keeping Singapore relatively drug-free, and crime rates low.
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The death penalty does not solve the drug problem in Singapore.
Many of those on death row for drug offences are more often than not mere drug mules, people who had been tricked, cajoled, persuaded or convinced into running drugs. Many lack education, or come from broken families and disadvantaged situations. Hanging these mules do not curb the drug supply, as drug barons would easily be able to recruit more to smuggle and deliver drugs for them.
Singapore's government has provided no proof that the death penalty works as a deterrent. No drug crime statistics have been presented to Amnesty International or any other authority questioning the validity or the effectiveness of capital punishment. [[http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA36/001/2004]]
Singapore's tough stance against drugs and use of the death penalty has acted as a deterrence, preventing major drug syndicates from setting up in the country.
According to he Singapore government A.I made false claims in its report. [[http://www.mha.gov.sg/basic_content.aspx?pageid=74]]
It is a non-commensurate response to drug trafficking
One of the fundamental principles of a justice system is commensurability/retribution - an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whereas grave crimes such as acts of murder (genocide, terroristic bombings, or plain homicide) warrants death for the criminal since there is a tangible link that he/she essentially took an innocent life that must be payed for, the link between drug trafficking and the lives that are automatically jeopardized by the act is unclear. One, people may sell drugs, but doesn't necessarily mean everyone's going to buy them (i.e. prohibitive price, fear of being thrown into jail if caught buying). Two, even if people may buy drugs and be addicted to them, that doesn't mean that they cease to be living or to become a productive member of the society as they could always rehabilitate or just turn their back on use of drugs. Thus, death penalty surfaces as a disproportionately harsh punishment to drug trafficking.
"*The Misuse of Drugs Act in Singapore allows the police to search anyone they deem to be suspicious of drug use or trafficking without a warrant.
*Police can demand a urinalysis, and the failure to comply carries an automatic presumption of guilt.
*A conviction for trafficking of drugs (which means anyone carrying a certain amount of drugs such as more than 500 grams of cannabis, 30 grams of cocaine, or 15 grams of heroin) carries a mandatory death penalty."- [[http://www.ithaca.edu/fleff10/blogs/public_health_spaces/singapores_death_penalty_for_drug_trafficking/]]
The basic problem is assumption of guilt without trial or investigation. The police reign supreme and can catch whoever they like.
The Singapore government, has full faith in the Singapore police and the death penalty. Those who have gotten the death penalty have not yet denied guilt, while the law minister in Singapore points out that if young/female drug traffickers are treated with leniency, then drug lords will send out more women and children; to send illicit drugs in to the country.
The death penalty may be cruel but it's final and sends a crystal clear message to offenders and potential offenders alike.
The death sentence for drug trafficking should remain, but the MANDATORY DEATH SENTENCE should be abolished
Quoting from the source SGCA 20 YONG VUI KONG VS PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
MDP is a provision of law which deprives the court of the use of its wise and beneficent discretion in a matter of life and death, without regard to the circumstances in which the offence was committed and, therefore, without regard to the gravity of the offence, cannot but be regarded as harsh, unjust and unfair. It is those facts and circumstances which constitute a safe guideline for determining the question of sentence in each individual case.
The MDP should not be imposed as it is harsh, unfair and unjust. MDP takes out judicial discretion for certain serious offences, but for other offences not serious enough, it leaves a certain bandwidth of sentencing precedents, which goes to show that MDP as a legislation has forcibly removed the bandwidth and narrowed it to only one sentence, which is the sentence of death. Such legislation is discounting the accused to a full trial compared to other non-MDP imposed offences, showing a judicial proceeding different from the rest, because the court has no power to impose any other punishment as required by the law. MDP makes legislation like a mechanical framework, without the human touch, making it unfair and unjust for any persons tried for MDP-imposed offences as compared to other offences. The scales of justice are removed from the hands of the judge so soon as he pronounces the accused guilty of the offence. So final, so irrevocable, and so irrestitutable is the sentence of death that no law which provides for it without involvement of the judicial mind can be said to be fair, just and reasonable.
The issue here is the word "MANDATORY". We can still accept if the sentencing for drug trafficking offence be the range from imprisonment from n years to the death sentence, depending on severity factors for drug trafficking. In the case of murder, it is on the burden of the prosecution to prove the intention of the taking of life, but for this drug trafficking offence, it is the burden on the accused to prove his innocence once the evidence of drug possession has been established by the prosecution. There are a variety of reasons why something is found in your posession without you knowing it. It is not right to take a person's life just because the proof of possession of certain undesirable material is found in that person possession and assuming it for trafficking.
What do you think?