Death penalty

During this week, our lecturer talked about death penalty. And i started the serious case of death penalty in Malaysia. In February 2011, police statistics revealed that between 2007 to 2010, 239 Malaysians who had been lured into being drug mules were being detained in prisons of several countries. 120 of them were men and the remaining were women.

Throughout 2011, media continues to publish stories of Malaysians suspected to be drug mules being caught and detained overseas. The International Narcotic Control Board (INCB) stated that there is a current trend which targets Southeast Asia and East Asia in drug mule recruitment drives.

Those detained came from wide ranging background including students, professionals, graduate, uneducated, young and matured. As human beings, we have been moved by the plight of some of our fellow countrymen.

Despite having death penalty for drug crimes in Malaysia, there are Malaysians and government linked NGOs who are willing to provide assistance to Malaysians who have been found guilty for drug related offences overseas.

While it is extremely positive to see various public interest bodies coming together in ensuring the welfare of Malaysians especially those who have been taken advantage of, perhaps it is also time for us to check our reflection.

Mandatory death penalty removes the discretion of judges to consider external factors such as accused’s level of maturity and intelligence, life’s background, circumstances leading to the commission of the offence and other mitigating factors.

In relation to the cases mentioned above, it would mean that although these individuals may have been tricked into carrying drugs and are but mere pawns in a far more elaborate syndicate, they will be facing the noose.

Week 10- Reflective Diary

#EdwinLawrence

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