Malaysia for many years stopped 'hanging', and it looked that Malaysia was moving towards the abolition of the death penalty. At the very least, we were looking at the abolition of the MANDATORY death penalty in the laws, giving back Judges when it comes to sentencing of certain crimes - i.e. the discretion to sentence to death or to sentence to imprisonment (maybe for life or for natural life). But, in 2014, this is the 2nd case where Malaysia nearly hung someone. See earlier post:- Chandran Paskaran saved at the last minute from being hanged to death
We know of these 2 attempts to hang people in Malaysia - but we do not know whether there were others who have been hanged. Why? There is little or no notification of these attempts to carry out the death penalty. If we know, then we all can also appeal to the King or the relevant Sultans or other authorities to stop the killing, and maybe even commute the sentence to imprisonment. People, even judges, police, prosecutors, lawyers and others, in the criminal justice system are all fallible - they, on behalf of all Malaysians, can make mistakes. So let us abolish the death penalty. It has been proven that death penalty is not to be a deterrent. It has been shown that it is most unjust for drug mules and some others who never really killed anyone to be hanged to death. Many families and friends of victims really want perpetrators of crime punished but not sentenced to death.
In Malaysia, worse still, there is much concern about the fairness of our judges and courts, or the credibility of our police and prosecutors. Remember the Anwar's 'black eye case' where the police had come out claiming that they did not cause it - later only to be revealed that it the police that did it. And now we have the case of the missing MH370, we have the police saying at first categorically that all who booked on the flight boarded it, later only to be told that this was not exactly true - now it is said 4 who booked never checked in and they were replaced by standby passengers. It is not only the case of Malaysia but also other countries, even the US, where 'mistakes' can be made by courts.
In Malaysia, in cases that carry the death penalty, at the High Court, there is only one judge that decides on guilt or innocence, is that safe? Maybe, we need to bring back the JURY, when at least there will be more people involved in considering the available evidence, etc and determining the guilt or innocence of persons, and this maybe should be brought back for all criminal cases that carry sentences 10 years imprisonment or more.
The risk of sending an innocent person to death is, I believe, the strongest reason why we should abolish the death penalty in Malaysia. We know of the Taiwan case, where a man already executed was found later to be innocent. [See http://madpet06.blogspot.com/2012/11/my-son-executed-then-they-said-they.html]
"My son was killed for a crime he did not commit…. our family has lived in shame and neighbours never spoke to us. Whatever apology or compensation the government promises, it is too late.”- Wang Tsai-lien, mother of Chiang Kuo-ching who was coerced into making a confession and subsequently executed in error in 1997 in Taiwan.
Recently, in March 2014, we have the case of an American on death row, who has now been released after 30 years because he was not guilty...
Glenn Ford has been freed from the notorious Angola prison in Louisiana having lived under the shadow of the death sentence for 30 years. He becomes one of the longest-serving death row inmates in US history to be exonerated.
Ford was released on the order of a judge in Shreveport after Louisiana state prosecutors indicated they could no longer stand by his conviction. In late 2013 the state notified Ford’s lawyers that a confidential informant had come forward with new information implicating another man who had been among four co-defendants originally charged in the case. - Guardian, 12/3/2014,Death row inmate Glenn Ford released 30 years after wrongful conviction