In commemoration of the 12th World Day Against the Death Penalty

10 October 2014

Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) – As we commemorate the 12th World Day Against the Death Penalty today, we would like to reaffirm our stand against the use of capital punishment as an instrument of justice in Singapore, as well as globally.

Here at home, we are familiar with the argument that the death penalty serves as a good deterrent against crimes such as drug trafficking, murders, and other violent crimes. We would like to highlight that there is a current lack of publicly available criminological studies in relation to drug crimes. In addition, the findings of a 2009 study comparing homicide rates in Singapore and Hong Kong has suggested that the death penalty does not work as a more effective deterrent as compared to other forms of punishments. Hence, such a claim cannot be substantiated.

Capital punishment, unlike prison terms, is irreversible. As documented in the history of its use, many wrongful executions have taken place due to human error in judgment. This leads to miscarriage in justice – a gross violation of human rights – which could have been prevented with its abolition.

We firmly believe that capital punishment is the most premeditated form of murder given the fact that each step – date, time, method and all other calculations – has been carefully planned. As we become more educated as a global society, are we sure we want to continue supporting the existence of such an instrument of justice that is even more sophistically planned than most murders? It is time that we spend some time reflecting on that.

Last but not least, we would like to urge the Singapore government to rethink its current stance on the death penalty, and consider exploring alternative methods of execution. We would also like to stand in solidarity with fellow abolitionists all over the world, and wish them success in their work towards abolishing the death penalty.

Happy 12th World Day Against the Death Penalty!

In solidarity,

Rachel Zeng

Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign