Mercy for Jabing

Together with our colleagues at We Believe in Second Chances and Jabing’s family members, we held a press conference on Tuesday, 17 May, at 6pm. Representing SADPC on the panel, here was what I said and I am posting this for the record:

“SADPC has always held the view that capital punishment is the most premeditated form of murder where every step towards the execution has been carefully planned and calculated with the purpose to end the life of a person. Therefore we do not think that an enlightened and progressive society should utilise an act that it holds in contempt, that is, murder, by seeking justice through state sponsored murder.

In the case of Jabing, we would like to point out that he had been subjected to a rollercoaster ride where his fate is concerned – he was first sentenced to death, had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment with caning, and then sentenced to death again by a 3-2 majority. In view of the fact that the death penalty is irreversible, we strongly think that as long as a dissenting judgment exists, death should not be awarded as a penalty.

Jabing’s family was notified on Thursday, 12 May, about his scheduled execution. It was definitely a shock to all of us here because we had the impression that it was still possible to submit a clemency petition, something which the legal team had been working so hard to prepared for right after his latest legal challenge had failed. In fact, it still is. The president had acknowledged Jabing’s intention to submit a clemency petition, howeever based on his previous decision to reject the petition, he holds the position that the date of execution will not be postponed. We would appreciate it if the president will put a hold on the execution scheduled for 20 May so that reasonable time will be available for proper consideration of Jabing’s clemency petition.”