Justice hurried, is justice buried
20 May 2016
The Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) strongly condemns the execution of Kho Jabing.
His notice of appeal was filed at 11pm on 19 May and at midnight, his legal team received the letter from the court informing them that the hearing would take place at 9am the next morning. This gave them insufficient time to adequately prepare legal submissions to deal with the complexities of the issues that lay before the court, i.e., the Constitutional arguments raised.
The application was heard despite repeated adjournment requests, which were turned down. The matter was heard for 3 hours, and dismissed at about 12.30pm. In our opinion, more time should have been granted so that Mr Alfred Dodwell, Jabing’s new legal counsel, could build a stronger case as to why his arguments deserve a day of hearing in court. With this, we believe that justice hurried, is justice buried.
Furthermore, Mr Alfred Dodwell, the legal counsel representing Jabing, asked for advance notification of the execution to be given so as to allow the family to spend more time for the family to be with him. Both the prosecution counsel and the judges had no objections. Therefore, we were utterly shocked to hear the news that he was executed a mere 3 hours after the hearing at 1530hrs on the afternoon of 20 May. We understand that this is unprecedented as accused persons are usually executed at dawn on Friday, by convention. We were also saddened by the fact that the family managed to spend their last moments with him only through a televisit.
We would like to reiterate that we do not condone whatever he had done and have no intentions to minimise the hurt that his actions had caused the family of his victim Cao Ruyin. However, we have 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.